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Political Cultures and National Identities
England's Discontents unpacks the genealogy of British identities over the last two hundred years as they have been shaped by the main political cultures and their interactions with cultural politics.
Conservatism, social liberalism, economic liberalism, social democracy and socialism in partnership and conflict, have forged different models of national belonging and identity. Wayne draws on Gramsci's work to reassess debates about Britishness and renew Gramsci's relevance to understanding our contemporary discontents.
In doing so, he reveals that England's enduring attachment to economic liberalism is in danger of eroding all other political cultures, even conservatism, liberalism and the British state.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Provides a valuable analysis of how Britain is ruled and the ideology and culture of its elite' -- Counterfire 'In the aftermath of Brexit, Mike Wayne's provocative re-reading of the tangled historical relations between Britain's contesting political cultures forces us to think again about the exercise of power, the imagination of nationhood and the possibilities for change' -- Graham Murdock, Professor of Culture and Economy, Loughborough University 'Wayne's excellent book delivers home truths and important historical lessons with authority, clarity and conviction. Its call for a radical version of social democracy is both convincing and energising. Anyone seeking the sign-posts for social change should read this' -- Anita Biressi, Professor of Media and Society, University of Roehampton 'This is a hugely ambitious and seriously rewarding genealogy of Britishness. Navigating the East India Company and Brexit, conservatism and liberalism, Gramsci and Stuart Hall, Mike Wayne has produced a fantastic analysis of the contradictions of our political culture' -- Des Freedman, Professor of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London