The dog that finally barked: England as an emerging political community
Published date: 23 Jan 2012
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This report presents evidence which suggests the emergence of a new kind of Anglo-British identity in which the English component is increasingly the primary source of attachment for English people. It also suggests that English identity is becoming more politicised: that is, the more English a person feels, the more likely they are to believe that the current structure of the UK is unfair and to support a particularly English dimension to the governance of England.
It has long been predicted that devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would provoke an English ‘backlash’ against the anomalies and apparent territorial inequities of a devolved UK state. The evidence presented here suggests the emergence of what might be called an ‘English political community’, one marked by notable concerns within England about the seeming privileges of Scotland in particular and a growing questioning of the capacity of the current UK-level political institutions to pursue and defend English interests, and one underpinned by a deepening sense of English identity.
This report presents the findings of the Future of England (FoE) survey, which represents one of the most comprehensive examinations of English attitudes to questions of identity, nationhood and governance to date – and the only major survey in this area conducted in England since both the formation of a coalition government at Westminster and the election of a majority SNP administration in Holyrood.
Guy Lodge, Associate Director for Politics and Power
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