Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.
, Stuart Hall argued in his seminal paper, ‘New ethnicities’, written for the ‘Black Film, British Cinema’ conference at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in that year, that it is not about Black culture ‘occurring at the margins, but [being] placed, positioned at the margins, as the consequence of a set of quite specific political and cultural practices which regulated, governed and “normalized” the representational and discursive spaces of English society’ (Hall 1989 , 441–2). Hall went on to discuss how these ‘conditions of existence’ set in motion black
, Braveheart, Brigadoon, and the Scots, pp. 7–64. 111 Hardy, Scotland in Film, p. 1; McArthur, Braveheart, Brigadoon, and the Scots, cover. 112 Sue Harper, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie Revisited. British Costume Films in the 1950s’, in The British Cinema Book, ed. R. Murphy (London: BFI, 1997), pp. 133–43 (p. 136). 113 Harper, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, p. 138. 114 Harper, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, p. 138. 115 On Rambo, see William J. Palmer, The Films of the Eighties. A Social History (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1993), pp. 67–71. 116 Graham Thompson