January 1st this year marked the end of the transition period in the UK’s long and tortured journey of leaving the European Union. Four and a half years after the 2016 Brexit referendum the UK began a new chapter in its history, sovereign and independent, as the Leave campaign might have put it, no longer constrained by the EU’s laws and courts.
Underneath those claims lies a variety of different conceptions of freedom. As Isaiah Berlin explained in his famous essay “Two Concepts of Liberty” there are at least two, fundamentally different conceptions of freedom.
So what are these conceptions? And how do they apply to Brexit? Are the claims that the UK is a freer country, now that it’s out of the EU true? Or are such claims concealing the many meanings of the concept of freedom?
A joint episode with a fellow podcaster, Toby Buckle, producer and host of The Political Philosophy podcast. This conversation was based on an article I wrote for the LSE’s Politics and Policy blog, back in 2016, entitled "Isaiah Berlin and Brexit: How The Leave Campaign Misunderstands Freedom", and Toby’s past solo episode on Berlin’s distinction, entitled “Positive and Negative Freedom”.
This podcast is created in partnership with The Philosopher, the UK’s longest running public philosophy journal. Register for free for the spring series of talks and events at: https://www.thephilosopher1923.org/events
Music by Pataphysical
Artwork by Nick Halliday