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Britain: The Fractured Island

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Abstract

Despite the sonorous magnificence of Shakespeare’s John of Gaunt monologue, England is not an island. Rather this ‘England, that was wont to conquer others’ just thinks, acts, governs, talks, plays and presents itself as if it is. For the island polity known as ‘Britain’, more formally as ‘Great Britain (GB)’, the ‘United Kingdom (UK)’ is an odd place. In spite of its self-promotion as the ostensible product of a long, stable and immutable partnership of equals, the ‘national’ institutions of this state-nation consistently present themselves as those of a singular ‘nation-state’ through the monofocal prism of the dominant ‘island race’ of England: the English historical narrative of ‘this sceptred isle’, and a smothering blanket of English cultural referents.

Keywords

  • Great Britain
  • International Political Economy
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Cultural Hegemony
  • Scottish Electorate

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, …

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea, ….

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

(William Shakespeare, King Richard II, Act II, scene 1)

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© 2013 Ray Burnett

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Burnett, R. (2013). Britain: The Fractured Island. In: Baldacchino, G. (eds) The Political Economy of Divided Islands. International Political Economy. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137023131_13

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