The chronopolitics of the ‘Left Behind’: Presentism, populism, and Global Britain

Kirsten Forkert (Corresponding / Lead Author), Zaki Nahaboo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article examines the “Left Behind” as a temporal construct and its political uses. In the UK, the “Left Behind” is predominantly discussed as a group of people sharing a similar geographical locale, White identity, and deprivation. Political parties and commentators have been integral to constructing this White class as a deserving poor and voting bloc, who have not reaped the benefits of economic development. Instead of assessing the empirical validity of the “Left Behind” as a socio-economic category, this article explores how the politics associated with this construct is orchestrated by varied temporal frames. The first section draws upon François Hartog's notion of presentism and Hakki Taş's theorisation of populist temporal narratives to explore how the “Left Behind” is shaped as an object of moral and economic debt, with their prospects threatened by immigrants. The second section explores how Global Britain narratives shape the “Left Behind” as subjects of majority histories. In doing so, it also demonstrates how these imagined figures are cast as subjects who lag behind the demands of late capitalism. The article concludes by reaffirming how presentism is central to the making of the “Left Behind” as a governmental problematic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1
    Number of pages20
    JournalTime & Society
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 13 Mar 2024


    • Temporality
    • Presentism
    • chronopolitics
    • Left Behind
    • British politics
    • Global Britain
    • Neoliberalism


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