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MO3320 Imperialism And Nationalism

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MO3320 Imperialism And Nationalism

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Course Code: MO3320
University: University Of St Andrews

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Country: United Kingdom

Question:
Explain the rise of English Nationalism in the twenty-first century. 
 
1.:EU and English nationalism how they conflict with the mention of (The EU, devolution and economy).
 
2.English nationalism and immigration and link how more nationalist groups come about because of immigration .
 
3.English nationalism and how it is affected by class and that when the economy is bad poor people suffer the most therefore the nationalist groups are makeup of lower class people who lack political agency and can relate to each other 
Answer:

Nationalism broadly refers to the feeling of unity and promotion of political, social, economic and cultural interests by the people of a country such that sovereignty or self-governance is gained or re-instated. The rise of English Nationalism dates back to the 14th  and 15thcentury when the governance of England gained independence from French domination after several wars and bloodshed. In this context, nationalism went hand-in-hand with nation-building, and the definition of nationalism has undergone marked changes over the years. Here it must be mentioned that nationalism differs in meaning from patriotism. In case of patriotism, the pride for one’s own country has some logical basis, whereas ‘nationalism’ refers to a similar feeling irrespective of the moral grounds. England continued to expand its resources by gaining control of areas beyond the Atlantic. In the 21st century, a different perception of English nationalism is seen, shaped by a feeling essentially of Englishness, rather than a sense of belonging towards Europeanism as a whole[1]. This resulted in the disengagement of England from the European Union in 2016 after debates among its political bodies and the pressure from several right wing political and nationalist groups like English Defence League (EDL) and British National Party (BNP). This was also caused by large-scale immigration of foreigners and certain political and economic policies favouring them, against the interest of the British.  This essay aims to discuss at large the factors that gave rise to extreme nationalistic feelings and associated actions in England in the 21st century, and conclude by focussing on how those factors led to a modern perception, where English Nationalism is associated with those aforementioned groups.
Britain, as a European nation-state, has been has been facing challenges from large-scale immigration and devolution, which was furthered by its integration into the European Union. The European Union is a group of European countries which follow a unified code of law in terms of economy and trade[2]. The devolution of UK took place in the 1990s[3]. The unified power got scattered in the hands of different political bodies of different stares which formerly constituted the UK[4]. It allowed England to rule freely. The idea of English nationalism, which had already gave rise to the devolution, was further accelerated because of it. This phenomenon reinforced the sense of English Nationalism, which was never essentially bordered around unification, rather one of separation and distinctiveness. The boundaries of Englishness were always confused with an identity belonging to UK. However, the devolution contested the absence of such boundaries and constructed ‘English’ as a homogenized identity. Even before that Euro centrism existed as a means of identity formation, especially in the days of colonization. However, the present situation suggests that boomeranged back on England and put its cultural codes at stake. Another important issue in this reggae is Euroscepticism. Opinions vary regarding what this term infers. While some believe that it is a distinctive issue of the very politics of England, since it is the major superpower in all of UK, some others distinguish this from the culture and politics of England, claiming that it refers to all the European states, and not only Britain. This debate can possibly be attributed to the colonial history which England shares with other countries. It is often claimed by7 many that the political content of Euroscepticism has its roots in the grievances and ideology of English nationalism. In June 2016, a referendum was passed whereby England, along with Wales, voted to separate itself from the European Union or EU[5]. This impending exit was regarded as ‘Brexit’. This separation is a huge marker of England’s demand of self-rule, free from other European standards. Brexit may be called a result of England’s internal politics where a plan was being formulated that of exploring the free market beyond the bounds of EU, where the interests of England would be given importance[6]. Outside the bonds of EU, England would be seen as an independent superpower, and not just a part of a bigger whole. The pro-Brexit people demanded a distinctive national identity, a new political structure which would lead to a better society due to self-governance. However, this phenomenon is not without faults. Under the garb of self-rule and nationalism, it gave was to an implicit egocentric behaviour and disputes over political history of England. Ironically this new form of nationalism is different from the cultural and ethnic traditions of England, which has come after a long phase of political instability due to civil wars in the 18th century. The new terms and conditions are risky because they come with little knowledge of self-rule. Formation of an independent state is not bad in the literal sense, but the allied consequences it brings are raise a cloud of uncertainty about the future well-being of the state. In the garb of nationalism, it contains the risk of denigrating into racism and further political differences. The parallel effects of a Scottish nationalism may also be said to enhance the rigidity of this so-called English nationalism.
Immigration from the commonwealth states has posed a serious problem for the British cultural homogeneity[7]. This volatile situation was worsened by the raging conflicts between the common British laws and tradition with that of other European nations who unanimously follow a single written constitutionalized tradition. England is a country full of national minorities like the Welsh and Scots, and various ethnic minorities who have mostly immigrated from the Commonwealth, all of whom constantly try to integrate themselves with the English cultural codes, thereby threatening the national culture of a becoming a hybrid entity with a hybrid language, as the core English language also undergo changes due to its amalgamation with other kinds of utterances[8]. This prepares the ground for xenophobic predicaments, and violence against immigrant used as a defence mechanism to protect the national and cultural identity[9]. The irony is that England is largely shaped by the cultures of different countries since ancient days, and as a result, this defence mechanism may be seen as an attempt to prove to their own selves that England has its own culture which is different from those of the others. A number of extremist right-wing political parties were formed after the devolution of UK. In the name of nationalism, rampant violence and prejudices were allowed to have a free-play. Racism was enhanced with a renewed vigour. Since these political parties had a huge role to play in the national politics of England, they often acted vehemently to deprive the foreign immigrants of certain fundamental rights, which were usually based on the grounds of race, class religion, political beliefs and immigration status. Anyone from outside the dominant ethnic background was faced with a variety of hardships. Some of the immigrants who had been staying in the country for a long while had to face troubles regarding their citizenship. As the right-winged political parties started to take part in the elections, many of them having unofficial tie-ups with vigilante troupes started patrolling around the country’s borders, through whom, the political groups created problems for the immigrants, often harassing them badly[10]. The far-right politics of parties like EDL and BNP often prevented non-white immigration. They demanded repatriation of immigrants often through unfair means. The nationalist groups who claim to promote ‘Englishness’ are often confused and misguided, with lack of proper leadership that could channelize them towards a more organized working of the country. The difference in opinions often leads to conflicts among themselves. EDL was essentially an anti-Islamic group which fuelled national sentiments more on a cultural basis rather than racial[11]. It organizes protest marches and demonstrations against the immigration of Muslims in England. The dissolution of the political system into the hands of a number of political group, especially right-winged parties, and the power held by them has raised a possible situation for the disintegration of the cultural heritage of England and its essential Englishness[12]. Thus, the rise to power of these political groups questions the very grounds of English nationalism which these groups claim to promote.
Besides political and cultural factors, a wider social agenda was also present behind the act of Brexit in the name of English nationalism, with its roots in class division and Eurocentric mentality, which in turn, is also dependent on the uneven distribution of economy[13]. As a result of this class struggle the native English people who have a poor economic setup have to suffer the most, and as a result, they go on to form fascist right-wing political groups, which later on goes ahead to be regarded as nationalist groups[14]. Nationalism often gives rise to unjustified pride for one’s own country, thereby leading to revolts and wars, where the country may have to suffer in the end, and only the ego of the nationalists being satisfied. Similar is the case here. A seething nationalistic feeling led to the devolution and Brexit, which was further enhanced by extremist pressure groups like the EDL, which actively holds rallies and movements against the Muslims in Britain. It also led to a rise of populism and harsh nationalism, which was opposed to liberal democracy. Populism widely refers to the anti-establishment measures posited against the social elites[15]. The growing distrust of the common mass in the politicians and elites gives rise to populism. Therefore, economy comes into play. The Marxist ideologies of subversion of power from the hands of the elites to the working class or labour class are called up. They were instigated to hark back to an imaginary past which was rather democratic in structure. However, the boundaries of such ideologies were often transgressed to promote a feeling ‘Englishness’ which was meaningless in its core. Thus the socially conservative lot gained a significant amount of control over the political framework of the country. The economy of England has been going through a phase of turmoil after the Brexit[16]. Inflation has started making its effect on various sectors like construction, thereby resulting in a reduced output of production. This has increased the level of poverty to a great deal. This pushes the poor people to take recourse to nationalistic groups, through which they would be able to fight for their demands. The economic downturn, hand in hand with rapid immigration also leads to hostile feelings like racism and anti-Semitism in those native citizens.
Therefore we may conclude by saying that the ideals of English nationalism stands on slippery grounds at present. It has undergone more changes in the last few-decades than it did in the hundreds of years before that. The political scenario of England saw a shift in power to the hands of groups promoting fascist ideas against the immigrants. This resulted from a long drawn desire of self-rule beyond the binding of standardized or codified laws and rules encompassing not only the states within the United Kingdom, but also the member states of the European Union. Therefore, the devolution of England and its separation from EU came to serve this long-cherished dream. However, England was not politically or economically ready to take up such a big responsibility of working independently without aids from the Union. As such, opposing views and opinions led to the formation of groups which started to challenge the working of the English government, and enforce their own preferred codes of conduct. The economic and trade policies were shaped accordingly. The violent nationalism was considered to be an anathema by the left-wing politicians. However, the economic degradation post Brexit and devolution pushed relegated them to the background and extreme right-wing groups, filled with local agitated people started gaining ground. In order to hark back to an original English culture, they took recourse to fascism in the name nationalism. Conflicting opinions led to internal unrest, for which the immigrants also had to bear the brunt.
References
Blinder, Scott. “Imagined immigration: the impact of different meanings of ‘immigrants’ in public opinion and policy debates in Britain.” Political Studies, vol. 63, no. 1 (2015): 80-100.
Bradford, Ben, Elise Sargeant, Kristina Murphy, and Jonathan Jackson. “A leap of faith? Trust in the police among immigrants in England and Wales.” The British Journal of Criminology, vol. 57, no. 2 (2017): 381-401.
Brexit is already starting to make families poorer, Bank of England warns. (2018). The Independent. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-families-poorer-bank-of-england-warning-food-prices-economy-uk-incomes-a7731336.html
Copsey, Nigel, and John E. Richardson, eds. Cultures of post-war British fascism. Routledge, 2015.
Corbett, Steve. “The social consequences of Brexit for the UK and Europe: Euroscepticism, populism, nationalism, and societal division.” The International Journal of Social Quality, vol. 6, no. 1 (2016): 11-31.
Dunn, Kris. “Preference for radical right-wing populist parties among exclusive-nationalists and authoritarians.” Party Politics, vol. 21, no. 3 (2015): 367-380.
Finn, Daniel Joseph. Welfare to work devolution in England. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2015.
Hayton, Richard. “The UK independence party and the politics of englishness.” Political Studies Review, vol. 14, no. 3 (2016): 400-410.
Henderson, Ailsa, Charlie Jeffery, Dan Wincott, and Richard Wyn Jones. “How Brexit was made in England.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 19, no. 4 (2017): 631-646.
Henderson, Ailsa, Charlie Jeffery, Robert Liñeira, Roger Scully, Daniel Wincott, and Richard Wyn Jones. “England, Englishness and Brexit.” The Political Quarterly, vol. 87, no. 2 (2016): 187-199.
Jeffery, Charlie, Richard Wyn Jones, Ailsa Henderson, Roger Scully, and Guy Lodge. “Taking England Seriously: The New English Politics.” The Future of England Survey 2014 (2014).
Kassimeris, George, and Leonie Jackson. “The ideology and discourse of the english defence league:’Not Racist, Not Violent, just no Longer Silent’.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 17, no. 1 (2015): 171-188.
Marchlewska, Marta, Aleksandra Cichocka, Orestis Panayiotou, Kevin Castellanos, and Jude Batayneh. “Populism as identity politics: perceived in-group disadvantage, collective narcissism, and support for populism.” Social Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 9, no. 2 (2018): 151-162.
Pollack, Mark A. Policy-making in the European Union. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
Prosser, Brenton, Alan Renwick, Arianna Giovannini, Mark Sandford, Matthew Flinders, Will Jennings, Graham Smith, Paolo Spada, Gerry Stoker, and Katie Ghose. “Citizen participation and changing governance: Cases of devolution in England.” Policy & Politics, vol. 45, no. 2 (2017): 251-269.
Wadsworth, Jonathan, Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano, and John Van Reenen. “Brexit
[1] Richard Hayton, “The UK independence party and the politics of englishness.” Political Studies Review, vol. 14, no. 3 (2016): 400-410.
[2]  Mark A. Pollack, Policy-making in the European Union. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
[3]  Finn, Daniel Joseph. Welfare to work devolution in England. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2015.
[4] Brenton Prosser, et al., “Citizen participation and changing governance: Cases of devolution in England.” Policy & Politics, vol. 45, no. 2 (2017): 251-269.
[5] Ailsa Henderson, et al., “How Brexit was made in England.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 19, no. 4 (2017): 631-646.
[6]  Ailsa Henderson, et al., “England, Englishness and Brexit.” The Political Quarterly, vol. 87, no. 2 (2016): 187-199.
[7] Charlie Jeffery, et al., “Taking England Seriously: The New English Politics.” The Future of England Survey 2014 (2014).
[8] Scott Blinder, “Imagined immigration: the impact of different meanings of ‘immigrants’ in public opinion and policy debates in Britain.” Political Studies, vol. 63, no. 1 (2015): 80-100.
[9] Jonathan Wadsworth, et al., “Brexit and the Impact of Immigration on the UK.” CEP Brexit Analysis, vol. 5 (2016): 34-53.
[10] Ben Bradford, et al., “A leap of faith? Trust in the police among immigrants in England and Wales.” The British Journal of Criminology, vol. 57, no. 2 (2017): 381-401.
[11] George Kassimeris and Leonie Jackson, “The ideology and discourse of the english defence league:’Not Racist, Not Violent, just no Longer Silent’.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 17, no. 1 (2015): 171-188.
[12] Nigel Copsey and John E. Richardson, eds. Cultures of post-war British fascism. Routledge, 2015.
[13] Steve Corbett, “The social consequences of Brexit for the UK and Europe: Euroscepticism, populism, nationalism, and societal division.” The International Journal of Social Quality, vol. 6, no. 1 (2016): 11-31.
[14] Kris Dunn, “Preference for radical right-wing populist parties among exclusive-nationalists and authoritarians.” Party Politics, vol.21, no. 3 (2015): 367-380.
[15] Marta Marchlewska, et al., “Populism as identity politics: perceived in-group disadvantage, collective narcissism, and support for populism.” Social Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 9, no. 2 (2018): 151-162.
[16] Brexit is already starting to make families poorer, Bank of England warns. (2018). The Independent. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-families-poorer-bank-of-england-warning-food-prices-economy-uk-incomes-a7731336.html

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