nationalism

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    Unionism Vs self-interest: would MPs support Proportional Representation?

Unionism Vs self-interest: would MPs support Proportional Representation?

In light of the electoral divergence between the UK’s constituent nations, and the real danger of a break-up of the Union, Klaus Stolz makes the case for Proportional Representation. He explains, however, that reform will be a choice between the collective self-interest of Labour and Conservative MPs on the one hand, and their ideological values on the other.

Scholars of […]

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    A changing democracy: the British political tradition has never been more vulnerable

A changing democracy: the British political tradition has never been more vulnerable

Never before has the British political tradition been more contested, write Matthew Hall, David Marsh, and Emma Vines. They explain that British democracy is facing three major challenges – Scottish independence, Brexit, and anti-politics – and these have the potential to force change on an otherwise stale political establishment.

British politics is in a state of flux; yet for all the […]

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    What was wrong with the Brexit referendum and what would be wrong with a second

What was wrong with the Brexit referendum and what would be wrong with a second

Depending on their design, referendums can be bad for democracy, writes Joseph Lacey. He argues that the central problem with the Brexit referendum was its ad hoc nature. Any second referendum would be of a similar sort and so should be avoided. But there is a way of legitimately deciding upon questions of EU membership: through the mandatory referendum.

A […]

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    Country, city, town: how different types of community influence English and British identities

Country, city, town: how different types of community influence English and British identities

Does the place we live in shape our national identity? John Denham presents data on how identities vary across six different types of community. He demonstrates that although in almost all areas the largest single identity is ‘equally English and British’, the gap between the ‘more English’ and the ‘more British’ varies across communities of different size.

For many of […]

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    Sinn Fein won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Sinn Fein won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Sean Swan provides a brief history of how Sinn Fein came to adopt its abstentionist policy and explains why it will not change a century-long stance to help defeat Brexit in Westminster. He writes that if they were to drop abstentionism, dissident republican organisations would gain support, to the detriment of the peace process. At the same time, were […]

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    Politicising national identity: Welsh parties conflate ‘Welshness’ with their own political ideology

Politicising national identity: Welsh parties conflate ‘Welshness’ with their own political ideology

The politicisation of national identity in Wales has increased dramatically since devolution. But political parties do not present a common version of ‘Welshness’, writes Sophie Williams. Each party expresses their own version instead, conflating national identity with their own political ideology in the process.

Late 2017 saw the effect that heightened calls for self-determination can have on the status quo. The […]

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    How shifts in Scottish public opinion helped the Conservatives reverse their long-term decline

How shifts in Scottish public opinion helped the Conservatives reverse their long-term decline

Kieran Wright argues that changes in Scottish public opinion since the introduction of devolution have neutralised certain features of the Scottish Conservative Party that used to be a significant electoral liability.

In marked contrast to the party’s anaemic performance in the rest of Great Britain, the Conservative Party in Scotland enjoyed its best night in decades in the 2017 general […]

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    EVEL won’t worry the new government – but the West Lothian question may well do

EVEL won’t worry the new government – but the West Lothian question may well do

Following the election result some pundits have suggested that English votes for English laws might be an obstacle to the government, given its reliance on support from non-English MPs, whilst others have suggested the procedures might provide the government with an enhanced English majority. In this post Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny explain that neither of these possibilities is […]