British Politics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 363–385

English national parties in post-devolution UK

  • Colin Copus
Original Article

Abstract

The introduction of devolved political institutions to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales created a two-fold asymmetrical constitutional system across the United Kingdom, a system from which England was excluded. But, has this exclusion, along with the SNP victory in the 2007 Scottish parliament elections, the Brown premiership and the reluctance among the main UK-wide parties to be seen to promote Englishness and England, or to support the creation of an English Parliament, provided fertile ground for the growth of English national party politics? Given these conditions, an examination of the current state of English national parties and whether a single party has been able to rise to prominence, in a fairly crowded field, tells much about the nature of smaller party politics in the United Kingdom. This article reports the results of recent research exploring the politics, policies and organisation of English nationalist parties, and examines the nature of their nationalism to assess the contribution made to party politics in England. The research from which this article is drawn is funded by the Leverhulme Trust under grant numberF/094/AP.

Keywords

English national party English nationalism English parliament devolution 

References

  1. Abedi, A. and Lund, C. (2009) Doomed to failure? UKIP and the organisational challenges facing right-wing populist anti-political establishment parties. Parliamentary Affairs 62 (1): 72–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, B. (1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Blyth, M. and Katz, R. (2005) From catch-all politics to Cartelisation: The political economy of the Cartel Party. West European Politics 28 (1): 33–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bryant, C. (2008) Devolution, equity and the English question. Nations and Nationalism 14 (4): 664–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Christiansen, T. (1995) Plaid Cymru in the 1990s: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Welsh Regional Nationalism. Papers 95/3, European Institute – Political and Social Sciences.Google Scholar
  6. Coakley, J. (ed.) (1992) The Social Origins of Nationalist Movements. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Connor, W. (1994) Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Connor, W. (2001) Homelands in a world of states. In: M. Guibernau and J. Hutchinson (eds.) Understanding Nationalism. Oxford: Polity.Google Scholar
  9. Copsey, N. (1994) Fascism: The ideology of the British national party. Politics 14 (3): 93–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Curtice, J. (2008) Where Stands the Union Now? Lessons from the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election. London: Insitute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).Google Scholar
  11. Curtice, J. and Sandford, M. (2004) Does England want devolution too? In: A. Park, J. Curtice, K. Thomson, C. Bromley and M. Phillips (eds.) British Social Attitudes: 21st Report. London: Sage, pp. 201–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Curtice, J. and Seyd, B. (2001) Is devolution strengthening or weakening the UK? In: A. Park, J. Curtice, K. Thomson, L. Jarvis, C. Bromley and N. Stratford (eds.) British Social Attitudes: 18th Report. London: Sage, pp. 227–244.Google Scholar
  13. Dahl, R. (1966) Political Oppositions in Western Europe. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Dalton, R.J., Flanagan, S.C. and Beck, P.A. (eds.)(1984) Electoral Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies: Realignment or Dealignment? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dalton and Wattenberg (2000) Parties without Partisans. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. De Winter, L. (1998) Conclusion: A comparative analysis of the electoral office and policy success of ethnoregionalist parties. In: L. De Winter and H. Türsan (eds.) Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. De Winter, L. and Türsan, H. (eds.) (1998) Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Deutsch, K.W. (1953) Nationalism and Social Communication: An Inquiry into the Foundation of Nationality. New York: The Technology Press of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Wiley & Sons; London; Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  19. Eatwell, R. (2000) The rebirth of the extreme right in Western Europe? Parliamentary Affairs 53 (3): 407–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gallagher, M., Laver, M. and Mair, P. (2001) Representative Government in Modern Europe. London: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  21. Gellner, E. (1964) Thought and Change. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  22. Gellner, E. (1983) Nations and Nationalism. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Harmel, R. (1985) On the study of new parties. International Political Science Review 6 (4): 403–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hechter, M. (1975) Internal colonialism re-visited. In: E.A. Tiryakian and R. Rogowski (eds.) New Nations of the Developed West. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  25. Heywood, A. (1992) Political Ideologies: An Introduction. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hooghe, M. (1992) Nationalist movements and social factors. In: J. Coakley (ed.) The Social Origins of Nationalist Movements. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Hopkin, J. (2004) Paying for party response: Parties of the centre-right in post-war Italy. In: K. Lawson and T. Poguntke (eds.) How Political Parties Respond: Interest Aggregation Revisited. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Katz, R. and Mair, P. (1995) Changing models of party organisation and party democracy: The emergence of the cartel party. Party Politics 10: 5–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. La Palombara, J. and Weiner, M. (eds.) (1966) Political Parties and Political Development. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lane, J.E. and Errson, S.O. (1991) Politics and Society in Western Europe. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Lawson, K. and Merkl, P.H. (eds.) (1988) Alternative organisations: environmental, supplementary, communitarian and antiauthoritarian. When Parties Fail: Emerging Alternative Organisations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 3–12.Google Scholar
  32. Lipset, S.M. and Rokkan, S. (eds.) (1967) Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-national Perspectives. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lynch, P. (2002) SNP: The History of the SNP. Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press.Google Scholar
  34. Mair, P. (1989) The Problem of Party System Change. Journal of Theoretical Politics 1 (3): 251–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McAllister, L. (2007) The perils of community as a construct for the political ideology of Welsh nationalism. Government and Opposition 33 (4): 497–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Michels, R. (1915) Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy. Illinois: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  37. Mill, J.S. (1951) Considerations on representative government. In: H.B. Acton (ed.) Utilitarianism, Liberty and Representative Government. London: Dent and Sons.Google Scholar
  38. Miller, D. (1995) On Nationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Müller-Romel, F. (1998) Ethnoregionalist parties in Western Europe: Theoretical considerations and framework of analysis. In: L. De Winter and H. Türsan (eds.) Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Newell, J.L. (1994) The Scottish national party and the Italian Lega Nord: A lesson for their rivals? European Journal of Political Research 26 (2): 135–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Newell, J.L. (1998) The Scottish nationalist party: Development and change. In: L. De Winter and H. Türsan (eds.) Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Newell, J. (1995) SNP: Development and change. In: L. De Winter and H. Tursan (eds.) Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Ostrogorski, M. (1902) Democracy and the Organisation of Political Parties, Vol. I & II. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  44. Preston, P. (2004). Relocating England: Manchester, UK: MUP.Google Scholar
  45. Sartori, G. (1976) Parties and Party Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Schulman, S. (2002) Challenging the civic/ethnic and West/East dichotomies in the study of nationalism. Comparative Political Studies 35: 554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith, A.D. (2001) Nationalism, Malden. Oxford: Blackwell; Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  48. Sunday Telegraph. Britain wants UK break-up, polls show. 26th November 2006.Google Scholar
  49. Thranhardt, D. (1995) The political uses of Xenophobia in England, France and Germany. In: Party Politics 1 (3): 323–345.Google Scholar
  50. Türsan, H. (1998) Introduction: Ethnoregionalist parties as ethnic entrepreneurs. In: L. De Winter and H. Türsan (eds.) Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Urwin, D.W. (1983) Harbinger, fossil or flea bite? ‘Regionalism’ and the western European party mosaic. In: H. Daalder and P. Mair (eds.) Western European Party Systems. London: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Copus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyLocal Governance Research Unit, De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations