Since 2016, the UK has been in a crisis of its own making; this is not the fault of Brexit but of a larger problem of our politics. The status of political parties, the mainstream media, public experts and officials have all been disrupted. Along the way, there have been shocking and exhilarating events: the unforeseen 2017 election result, the horrific details of Grenfell Tower and the Windrush scandal, the sudden rise and fall of the Brexit Party. As the ‘mainstream’ of politics and media has come under attack, the basic norms of public life have been thrown into question.
This Is Not Normal takes stock of a historical moment that no longer recognises itself. Davies tells the story of the apparently chaotic and irrational events, and extracts their underlying logic and long-term causes. What we are seeing are the effects of the 2008 financial crash, the failure of the British neoliberal project, the dying of Empire, and the impact of the changes that technology and communications have had on the idea of the public sphere as well as the power of information. This is an essential book for anyone who wants to make sense of this current moment.
“This book presses pause on the dazzling contingent brightness of the present, and allows the reflections of the evening to gather and turn towards a new day.”
“Brilliant … Davies will be one of the experts to turn to guide us through the coming years.”
“As William Davies brilliantly articulates in his most recent book, This is Not Normal, it’s hard to convincingly advocate for normality, or indeed for norms in general, if you’ve spent years openly trashing the very notion.”
“This Is Not Normal: The Collapse of Liberal Britain seeks to pore over the deeper roots, expressions and manifestations of four interlocking crises in British politics, addressing some of the most pressing and perplexing questions facing the UK … as Davies so skillfully shows, it would be foolish to make any firm predictions of what happens next.”