Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences



First Reader/Committee Chair

Pytell, Timothy


This thesis is a comprehensive interpretation of European political history in the periodization from 2008 to 2016. The history begins with an exploration of the intellectual and political origins of the post-World War II project of European integration and the development of, and opposition to, the early institutions that eventually formed the contemporary assemblage of the European Union. Following a traditionally structured history, this work is styled as a ‘history of the present’ that specifies the role of the European Union in precipitating and attempting to overcome the financial and monetary crises, foreign policy quandaries on its Eastern periphery, an unmanageable escalation in migration rates, and the materialization of Eurosceptic, populist, and anti-establishment political actors at European and national levels. The specific arrangement of this thesis intends to fulfill its ultimate purpose of identifying the dynamic circumstances that aided the outcome of the United Kingdom referendum to leave the European Union.