Britishness

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    Class and nation: Labour has consistently failed to offer an alternative to conservative notions of Britishness

Class and nation: Labour has consistently failed to offer an alternative to conservative notions of Britishness

The Labour Party has at times been a force for radical change, but has failed to formulate a vision of Britain and Britishness, which could challenge conservative notions of nation and patriotism, writes Eric Shaw.

The profound and dislocating impact of Brexit on the party system has been demonstrated in the starkest way by the recent elections for the European […]

June 13th, 2019|Featured|0 Comments|

What does it mean to be British? And who defines it?

As part of the LSE Festival 2019, Diane Abbott, Eric Kaufmann, Alita Nandi, Sunder Katwala, and Ilka Gleibs discussed the question of Britishness – what does it mean and who gets to define it. Lucinda Platt provides an overview of the main arguments.

At its simplest, being British is a legal status of citizenship, as Diane Abbott MP (and Shadow […]

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    Is it the English question – or the British question? The three strands of Britishness

Is it the English question – or the British question? The three strands of Britishness

John Denham finds that the majority of those who identify as primarily English or equally English and British are also strongly British; they nonetheless seem to hold a different political outlook to those who identify as primarily British. He suggests that as much attention should be paid to the evolution of British identity as English identity. 

Most England residents identify […]

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    Thermostatic public opinion: why UK anti-immigrant sentiments rise and then fall

Thermostatic public opinion: why UK anti-immigrant sentiments rise and then fall

Contrary to popular narratives, there has been a collapse in anti-immigrant hostility in Britain, evident since the run up to the 2016 referendum. Patrick English explains how the success of the BNP and UKIP may have caused this fall and argues that recent changes may be seen as confirming the ‘thermostatic’ character of British public opinion.

The Britain of today, […]

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    Nationalism, racism, and identity: what connects Englishness to a preference for hard Brexit?

Nationalism, racism, and identity: what connects Englishness to a preference for hard Brexit?

Support for Brexit was higher among those who identify as English rather than British, even after accounting for relevant economic factors. But what is it that connects English identity to a preference for Brexit? Anthony Heath and Lindsay Richards outline some key characteristics that go some way in explaining the association.

‘Identity politics’ is a phrase that can be heard […]

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    National sovereignty seems to mean something clear and precise. It does not.

National sovereignty seems to mean something clear and precise. It does not.

Sovereignty is often invoked by Brexiters, yet it is an increasingly slippery concept in a globalised world, where the demands of trade and diplomacy force states to compromise their independence. Philip Allott argues that the EU’s lack of a common identity has enabled sovereignty to be deployed as a patriotic concept.

The debate on UK withdrawal from the EU has included […]

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    Scoto-Britannus?: British identity politics in Scotland, c.1520-1750

Scoto-Britannus?: British identity politics in Scotland, c.1520-1750

When it comes to current discussions on identity politics – and on Scottish national identity in particular – personal perceptions are often presented as facts. Steve Murdoch offers a historical understanding of British identity politcs in Scotland. He examines Anglo-Scottish relations during key moments of the early modern period to explain the roots of Britishness.

Melanie Phillips caused something of […]

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    Critical re-assessment of conventional wisdom on the topic of Englishness is overdue

Critical re-assessment of conventional wisdom on the topic of Englishness is overdue

Is Englishness a contemporary invention or a resurgent sensibility? What is the shape and character of a re-awakened sense of English nationhood? The complexity and difficulties inherent in answering these and other questions means there is a growing imperative for political scientists to reflect more self-consciously upon questions of evidence, methodology and interpretation in this area, writes Michael Kenny.

The […]

March 14th, 2014|Michael Kenny|2 Comments|