The politics of Englishness

Author: Arthur Aughey

This book provides a digest of the debates about England and Englishness, as well as a unique perspective on those debates. Not only does it provide readers with ready access to and interpretation of the significant literature on ‘The English Question’, but it also enables them to make sense of the political, historical and cultural factors which constitute that question, addressing the condition of England in three interrelated parts. The first part looks at traditional narratives of the English polity and reads them as legends of political Englishness, of England as the exemplary exception, exceptional in its constitutional tradition and exemplary in its political stability. The second part considers how the decay of that legend has encouraged anxieties about English political identity, of how English identity can be recognised within the new complexity of British governance. The third part revisits these legends and anxieties, examining them in terms of the actual and metaphorical ‘locations’ of Englishness: regionalism, Europeanism and Britishness.

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