Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

The Ironic State

British Comedy and the Everyday Politics of Globalization

By James Brassett

Published

13 Jan 2021

Page count

172 pages

ISBN

978-1529208450

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

13 Jan 2021

Page count

172 pages

ISBN

978-1529208481

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

13 Jan 2021

Page count

172 pages

ISBN

978-1529208481

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
The Ironic State

What can comedy tell us about the politics of a nation?

In this book, James Brassett builds on his prize-winning research to demonstrate how British comedy can provide intimate and vital understandings of the everyday politics of globalization in Britain.

The book explores British comedy and Britain’s global politics from post-war imperial decline through to its awkward embrace of globalization, examining a wide variety of comedic mediums, such as the popular television show The Office and the online satire The Daily Mash. Touching on issues such as empire, the class system and capitalism, the author demonstrates how comedy offers valuable insights on how global market life is experienced, mediated, contested and accommodated.

"In this entertaining and incisive analysis, James Brassett historically traces British comedy through a broader global context. His creative counsel for a productive image of comedic resistance is one that has never been more urgent, or welcome, than today." Brent Steele, University of Utah

"A fascinating perspective on how British comedy is integrated into our lived experience of globalised culture, its historical sweep is brought bang up to date with ‘citizen satire’ in meme culture and global platforms for our star comedians. A timely and thoughtful study on the politics of comedy." Jane Arthurs, co-author of Russell Brand: Comedy, Celebrity, Politics

“Brassett’s meditations on British humour are incisive, provocative and often hilarious. Together they elegantly reveal comedy as a prism through which we critically reflect on our role in the world.” Chris Rossdale, University of Bristol

“Very impressive theoretical and empirical contribution, easy to read, funny and interesting.” Alex Sutton, Oxford Brookes University

James Brassett is Reader in International Political Economy (IPE) at the University of Warwick.

Introduction: Comedy and the Politics of (Global) Resistance

Everyday Comic Resistance in Global Context

The Satire Boom: Imperial Decline and the Rise of the Everyday Elite

Alternative Comedy and Resistance to ‘Thatcher’s Britain’

Irony and the Liminality of Resistance

Austerity and the Rise of Radical Comedy

Brexit, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Single Market

The Globalization of Comic Resistance?