Until the Brexit referendum, there was widespread doubt as to whether English nationalism existed at all, at least beyond a small fringe. Since then, it has come to be regarded an obvious explanation for the vote to Leave the European Union. Subsequent opinion polls have raised doubts about the extent of continuing English commitment to the Union of the United Kingdom itself. Yet even as Englishness is apparently reshaping Britain's place in world and perhaps, ultimately, the state itself, it remains poorly understood.
In this book Ailsa Henderson and Richard Wyn Jones draw on data from the Future of England Survey, a specially commissioned public attitudes survey programme exploring the political implications of English identity, to make new and original arguments about the nature of English nationalism.
They demonstrate that English nationalism is emphatically not a rejection of Britain and Britishness. Rather, English nationalism combines a sense of grievance about England's place within the United Kingdom with a fierce commitment to a particular vision of Britain's past, present, and future.
Understanding its Janus-faced nature - both England and Britain - is key not only to understanding English nationalism, but also to understanding the ways in which it is transforming British politics.