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The University of Southampton
Centre for English Identity and PoliticsEvents

Englishness – the political force transforming Britain Event

13:00 - 14:30
29 April 2021

Event details


Prof Ailsa Henderson, University of Edinburgh
Prof Richard Wyn-Jones, University of Cardiff
Martin Kettle, The Guardian

Over the past 20 years, the politics of England and of Britain have been transformed. In 2010 Labour enjoyed a huge majority in every mainland nation, and all major political parties were committed to membership of the EU. Over the coming years a referendum on the EU was demanded and then won by Eurosceptics. Conservative support not only recovered but went on to win successive election victories. At the same time, the future of union appears to be on shaky ground once again.

Since the Brexit referendum many commentators have talked loosely of ‘English nationalism’ as a driving force of this political change, but few have taken care either to describe Englishness with care or to define what they mean as ‘nationalism’.

Ailsa Henderson and Richard Wyn-Jones are leading members of the Future of England Survey that has been tracking the attitudes and aspiration of English voters for a decade. In their new book ‘Englishness’ (OUP) they argue that English nationalism combines a sense of grievance about England’s place within the United Kingdom with a commitment to a particular vision of Britain’s past, present and future.

Martin Kettle is a columnist with the Guardian who has written regularly about England and the Union.

Please register for the event here

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