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Brexit isn’t all that special

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tags: Brexit



Felicity Vabulas is a postdoctoral lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Over the past week, countless political scientists and historians have weighed in on many aspects of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, here in the Monkey Cage and elsewhere, saying Britain’s vote on June 23 to leave the European Union is indeed a historical and rather unprecedented case.

Still, in many ways, Brexit isn’t all that special.

My in-progress research on exits from international organizations looks at why countries choose to withdraw. This research can offer a new way to look at the Brexit decision. In fact, in some ways, Brexit isn’t so very different from other decisions to withdraw from international organizations, also known as IOs.

The universe of IO withdrawals reveals four themes:

1. IO withdrawals are rare. 

Since World War II, there have been more than 225 cases of member-state withdrawals from international organizations that are formed around issues as varied as whaling, labor standards and nuclear non-proliferation. ...

Read entire article at The Washington Post


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