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Multilingualism and the Brexit referendum

Kappe, R; (2020) Multilingualism and the Brexit referendum. In: Strani, K, (ed.) Multilingualism and politics: Revisiting multilingual citizenship. (pp. 129-155). Palgrave Macmillan: Cham. Green open access

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This chapter argues that the (lack of) foreign language skills has contributed to the outcome of the Brexit referendum. Theory suggests that speaking foreign languages reduces perceptions of cultural distance and contributes to the formation of transnational identities. Research also shows a link between language skills and European identity (Kuhn 2015; Díez Medrano 2018). Did Britons’ relative lack of foreign language skills play a role in the Brexit decision? Using matching methods and data from the referendum wave of the British Election Study, it is possible to estimate the effect of foreign language skills on the referendum vote. The results suggest that a significant effect of foreign language skills remains, even when taking into account education, age, gender, income, and region, party preference, and personality differences.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Multilingualism and the Brexit referendum
ISBN: 3030407012
ISBN-13: 9783030407018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-40701-8_6
Publisher version: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Foreign language skills, European identity, Brexit
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109515
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