Mycock, Andrew and Hayton, Richard (2012) The Party Politics of Englishness. British Journal of Politics and International Relations. ISSN 1369-1481

This article assesses how the main British multi-national parties, whilst retaining an attachment of one form or another to the concept of the Union-state, have responded to existing and emergent identity tensions. Through examination of Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, with brief discussion of the BNP, UKIP and the English Democrats, it will consider the impact of devolution and the threat of separatist nationalism on party approaches and policy choices concerning English identity construction and governance. It will also explore the extent to which devolution has compromised the ability of UK politicians to ‘speak of Britain’ (they rarely use the term UK) and the four composite nations. By comparing and contrasting the narratives articulated by parties at different levels of governance it will ask whether a nascent ‘party politics of Englishness’ has emerged which can accommodate these challenges.

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