British nationalism


British nationalism

British nationalism refers to the application of nationalist ideas and policies to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

British nationalism has associations with the political right wing and with Euroscepticism, but some left-of-centre figures, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have sought to promote British nationalism as a progressive cause. Partly as a result of this, the discourse of "Britishness" has assumed some importance in British politics in recent times.

The term "British nationalism" may also evoke the name of the British National Party, a far-right political party in the UK which advocates British nationalism in what is generally considered to be an extreme form.

Nationalism in a multinational state

British nationalism is a somewhat paradoxical and unstable concept, since it applies to the United Kingdom, a political entity which is universally and explicitly conceived as a multinational state, consisting of the "home nations" of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It therefore competes with Irish nationalism, Scottish nationalism, Welsh nationalism and, increasingly, English nationalism.

Nationalism and unionism

Historically and at the present day, significant "Unionist" movements exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland seeking to retain the ties between those areas and the UK in opposition to local nationalist movements. While not coterminous with British nationalism, these strands of thought are naturally akin to it.

ee also

* British National Party
* Britishness
* English nationalism
* Irish nationalism
* Scottish nationalism
* Welsh nationalism


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