Imagined Nation explores the possibilities for England after Britain - as a multicultural nation, capable of addressing the legacies of history, yet confident enough to construct an inclusive future.
The break-up of Britain has begun but, unlike the rest of its constituent parts, England remains an imagined nation. Scotland has a Parliament, and Wales and Northern Ireland have Assemblies. What does England have as a nation state - apart from a team to cheer and a flag to wave?
The contributors to this book put forward a variety of ideas in an effort to begin to create a new imaginary for an old country. Rejecting racialised ideas of Englishness, they outline the prospects for a hybrid nation, and offer a vision of a green and pleasant land as an alternative national future.
Mark Perryman is writer and regular TV commentator on Englishness and football, and a lecturer in sports journalism at Brighton University. He is convenor of the London England Fans supporters’ group, co-founder of Philosophy Football and author of a number of books, including Ingerland: Travels with a Football Nation and (as editor) The Blair Agenda.
Mark Perryman England after Britain: The Imagined Nation
Section One: A State of Independence
Andrew Gamble A Union of Historic Compromise
Rupa Huq The Sound of the Suburbs
Graham Macklin All White on the Right
Stephen Brasher Labouring for England
Section Two: Little England
Billy Bragg New Traditions for an Old Country
Richard Weight A Mix ‘n Match Nation
Ben Carrington Where’s the White in the Union Jack? Race, Identity and the Sporting Multicultural
Julia Bell Minding our Language
Section Three: Home Truths from Here, and There
David Conn The Beautiful North
Gerry Hassan A Short History of the Future Break-Up
Anne Coddington Farewell to the Morris Men
Markus Hesselmann Three World Cups and no more Wars
Section Four: Landscapes of the New Jerusalem
Paul Gilroy The Great Escape: From Enoch Powell to Hope Powell, and beyond
Nicola Baird A Green and Pleasant Land
Dan Burdsey Halfway to Where? Racialisation and the Discontents of Englishness
Andy Newman A Political Imaginary for an English Left
‘Some of the sharpest thinking around on both the pitfalls of nationalism and the potential for a progressive English identity.’
‘Mark Perryman has long been one of the more articulate commentators on issues of national identity’
Andrew Shields, Time Out
‘Mark Perryman, the supreme documenter of English fandom’
Brian Appleyard, Sunday Times