The Politics of English Nationhood

Paperback | December 10, 2016

byMichael Kenny

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Winner of the Political Studies Association WJM MacKenzie Prize for best book of 2014.The Politics of English Nationhood supplies the first comprehensive overview of the evidence, research and major arguments relating to the revival of Englishness, exploring its varied, and often overlooked, political ramifications and dimensions. It examines the difficulties which the majorpolitical parties have encountered in dealing with "the English question" against the backdrop of the diminishing hold of established ideas of British government and national identity in the final years of the last century. And it explores a range of factors - including insecurities generated byeconomic change, Euroscepticism, and a growing sense of cultural anxiety - which helped make the renewal of Englishness appealing and imperative, prior to the introduction of devolution by the first Blair government, a policy which also gave this process a further impetus. The book therefore provides a powerful challenge to the two established orthodoxies in this area. These either maintain that the English are dispositionally unable to assert their own nationhood outside the framework of the British state, or point to the supposed resurgence of a resentful andreactive sense of English nationalism. This volume instead demonstrates that a renewed, resonant and internally divided sense of English nationhood is apparent across the lines of class, geography, age, and ethnicity. And it identifies several distinct strands of national identity that have emergedin this period, contrasting the appearance of populist and resentful forms of English nationalism with an embedded and deeply rooted sense of conservative Englishness and attempts to reconstruct a more liberal and civic idea of a multicultural England. This volume also includes a wide-ranginganalysis of the culturally rooted revival of Englishness, drawing out the political dimensions and implications of this re-emerging form of national consciousness.

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Winner of the Political Studies Association WJM MacKenzie Prize for best book of 2014.The Politics of English Nationhood supplies the first comprehensive overview of the evidence, research and major arguments relating to the revival of Englishness, exploring its varied, and often overlooked, political ramifications and dimensions. It e...

Michael Kenny is the recipient of a Major Research Fellowship awarded by the Leverhulme Trust, 2012-14. He has previously worked as Lecturer in Politics at Queen's University, Belfast, and was Professor, and Head of Department, in Politics at the University of Sheffield, and is currently a Research Associate at the Institute for Public...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:December 10, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198778724

ISBN - 13:9780198778721

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Table of Contents

Introduction: England as an Imagined Community - Myths, Ideas and Politics1. Crisis over Nationhood - the 1990s Reconsidered2. Interpreting Englishness - Views from Right, Left and the British Centre3. Englishness as a Mass Phenomenon - Evidence and Interpretation4. The Cultural Politics of Englishness5. Answering "the English Question" - Party Politics, Public Policy and the Nationalist Fringe6. Political Intimations of English Grievance - West Lothian and the Barnett FormulaConclusions: Reconfiguring the Politics of English Nationhood

Editorial Reviews

"Kenny recognizes the potential for right-wing populist English nationalism but stresses also the progressive tradition and sees Englishness as potentially positive, as long as it is not left to the extremists. In this he echoes calls from the English left to embrace Englishness while warningagainst efforts to force it. This is a sophisticated and historically rich analysis and a welcome counter-balance to some of the more simplistic writing about the English question." --Michael Keating, University of Aberdeen