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The AnglosphereContinuity, Dissonance and Location$
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Ben Wellings and Andrew Mycock

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266618

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266618.001.0001

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Churchill, Powell and the Conservative ‘Brexiteers’: The Political Legacies of the Anglosphere

Churchill, Powell and the Conservative ‘Brexiteers’: The Political Legacies of the Anglosphere

(p.191) 11 Churchill, Powell and the Conservative ‘Brexiteers’: The Political Legacies of the Anglosphere
The Anglosphere

Michael Kenny

Nick Pearce

British Academy

This chapter advances the case for a more ‘political’ reading of the Anglosphere discourse than is typically offered by its advocates, or by its academic commentators and critics. The authors stress the plentiful rhetorical resources and motifs associated with this shifting current of thinking, and the political opportunities and dilemmas associated with its recurrent deployment in high politics throughout the twentieth century. They give particular emphasis to the ways in which the Anglosphere ideal was re-worked and re-invented in different eras. And they explore its particular importance in the last three decades in British politics, highlighting its growing importance as a vehicle for an antithetical characterisation of the UK’s past and future to conventional ideas about the integral importance of the European Union to British prospects. They highlight the stirrings of this manner of thinking during the Thatcher years, its coalescence within a wider Anglo-American community in the 1990s, and its subsequent influence over leading campaigners for Brexit. They draw lessons from this account for wider debates about how the Anglosphere might be conceptualised and interpreted.

Keywords:   Anglosphere, Winston Churchill, Enoch Powell, European Union, Brexit

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