SPIRe Seminar Week 7 “How has nationalism developed in contemporary England?”

SPIRe’s Week seven seminar will feature SPIRe PhD student, Mr. Justin Sinnott presenting on his research “How has nationalism developed in contemporary England? A case study of elite attitudes in local authorities in three English regions” from 12:00-13:00 Wednesday, March 6th  in G316 Newman Building, UCD Belfield.  All are welcome.


This paper examines how nationalism has developed in contemporary England and
examines attitudes to Englishness and English nationalism among English elites at local
authority level. It sets out to capture the attitudes to nationalism and expressions of
Englishness in local authorities in three English counties separated by region. The use of
local authorities to ascertain how English nationalism has developed is useful for a variety of reasons. Firstly we can examine both political nationalism and cultural nationalism at close quarters at a local level. Secondly English local authorities have often been accused of preventing expressions of Englishness. This paper asks what local authority councillors’
attitudes are to nationalism, keeping in mind the context that they are often accused of being at the vanguard of preventing expressions of Englishness. This may be deliberate or because of sensitivities through living in a more multicultural society. This is often referred to as political correctness by English nationalists. The paper also examines local elite attitude to specific English cultural expression such as St George’s Day and the flying of the St George’s Cross the national flag on England. Finally the paper asks what are the current attitudes and views on more general attitudes to Englishness and cultural identity. Has there been a growth in Englishness and English culture at a local level?

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