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Active CitizenshipWhat Could it Achieve and How?$
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Bernard Crick and Andrew Lockyer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638666

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638666.001.0001

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Identity Politics: Multiculturalism, Britishness and Europe

Identity Politics: Multiculturalism, Britishness and Europe

(p.187) 13 Identity Politics: Multiculturalism, Britishness and Europe
Active Citizenship

Bernard Crick

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses identity politics, multiculturalism and Britishness in the context of Europe. It recounts and endorses the identities of the separate nations of the United Kingdom as politically important and culturally valuable (so long as they can accommodate the actuality of increasing diversity), but it argues that they do not require an independent nation state for their legitimate expression or survival. It contends that Britishness is not a cultural identity like being English, Welsh or Scottish; if it is ‘cultural at all’ it is a formal culture associated with a set of shared institutions and values. Its main criticism appears to be directed at the projection of ‘Britishness’ as if it were a superior form of national identity. It insists that Britain has the potential for greater devolution in its several parts, from state to civil society, and from government to people.

Keywords:   identity politics, multiculturalism, Britishness, Europe, United Kingdom, national identity, devolution, civil society

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