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Governing EnglandEnglish Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom$
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Michael Kenny, Iain McLean, and Akash Paun

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266465

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266465.001.0001

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Introduction: English Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom

Introduction: English Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom

(p.3) 1 Introduction: English Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom
Governing England

Michael Kenny

Iain McLean

Akash Paun

British Academy

This chapter examines whether, why and with what consequences there has been a disentangling of England from Britain in terms of its governance and national identity. The assumption has been that to distinguish between England and Britain risks destabilising the Union. However, the English seem dissatisfied with how they are governed, as demonstrated by support for Brexit, and less content for their nationhood to be poured into the larger vessel of Britishness. In response, the major UK political parties appear more willing to appeal to English national sentiment. But England has yet to engage in a reflective national conversation about its changing identity and its relationship with the rest of the UK and wider world. The fragmentary character of national consciousness in England, and deep divisions in its political culture, make it impossible to draw simple conclusions. This chapter sketches the outlines of a prospective research agenda on these issues.

Keywords:   national identity, nationhood, Britishness, Brexit, English, England, English national sentiment

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