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Circulating towards and across the British Isles: People, Ideologies, Social and Political Models


Vincent Latour and Catherine Puzzo

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1The aim of this issue is to examine how different sorts of circulations have affected the British isles over the last decades, with a particular emphasis on the circulation of people, ideologies as well as political and social models.

2Amélie Dochy’s paper examines the historical dimension to the question, by focusing on the three volumes written by Mr and Mrs Hall under the title Ireland, its Scenery, Character, etc. (1841-1843), with the aim of inviting English readers to visit Ireland. In the 19th century the development of travel narratives and various guides contributed to the construction of ‘foreign’ identities in general and Irish identity in particular. Amélie Dochy thus explores, in a cultural studies perspective, the literary anecdotes and illustrations meant to appeal to Victorian readers, who appreciated the picturesque descriptions of Irish scenery, or indeed, the gothic characteristics of local superstitions.

3Pascale Sempéré strikes a very different - albeit complementary- chord in her paper on the Fascist heritage of Oswald Mosley’s post-war Europeanism. It emerges that Mosley’s pre-war dream of a Greater Europe was not merely the extension of his dream of a Greater-Britain to a wider geographic area, but a geopolitical construct which revived the fundamentals of historical fascism.

4In her article, Nathalie Duclos focuses on a recently invented British political notion: ‘devolution max’ (or ‘devo max’). The main two aims of her paper are to trace the origin and chart the circulation of this political concept within the UK and to offer a definition of the ‘devolution max’ notion by comparing and contrasting it with other constitutional reform proposals, such as that embodied in the Scotland Act 2012, and ‘devolution plus’, a proposal put forward by a Scottish think tank.

5Fabien Jeannier’s paper is also centred on Scotland. It is based on a case study carried out in Glasgow. It shows the correlation between the policy of dispersal of asylum seekers and destitution and homelessness among them, while providing evidence of a distinctive Scottish approach to the asylum-related issues.

6Along the same lines, Romain Garbaye investigates and documents another aspect of migrant integration by establishing the circulation of the Canadian model and its influence in Britain since the turn of the 1980s. Since this initial transfer, ideas and notions have continued to flow between the two countries in that area. This article explores aspects of such exchanges.

7Likewise, Sophie Koppe looks into policy transfers between another former dominion, Australia, and the UK. In her article, she establishes that in recent decades Australia has been a source of inspiration for the United Kingdom in social policy, more particularly in the field immigration and integration. Thus, the availability of interpreting and translation services (e.g. administrative brochures) in Britain in the decade from 1990 to 2000 was directly patterned on measures that had just taken shape in Australia. Likewise, with the comparative retreat of multiculturalism since 2001, the fact of granting access to welfare payments only after two years on Australian soil was also picked up by British MPs.

8Finally, Anne Beauvallet’s contribution is concerned with the circulation of people, more specifically overseas students coming to the UK. Their fees being uncapped, they have been conceived as a lucrative market for private- and public-sector educational institutions. The policy of the Coalition on this industry and its often contradictory impact, including on the British economy as a whole, are also examined.

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Electronic reference

Vincent Latour and Catherine Puzzo, “Introduction”Miranda [Online], 9 | 2014, Online since 03 March 2014, connection on 22 October 2021. URL:; DOI:

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About the authors

Vincent Latour

Université de Toulouse 2 – Jean Jaures
Maître de conférences HDR

Catherine Puzzo

Université de Toulouse 2 – Jean Jaures
Maître de conférences

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