Britishness in the 21st Century
To be held at Keele University on Wednesday 19 June 2013
09.00 – 17.30
This one-day workshop hosted by the University of Keele in association with the Journal of Global Faultlines and RC4SPIRE will critically explore notions of Britishness and evaluate the key issues involved in formulating shared understandings of British national identity. We will consider the contradictions of British liberalism and imperialism and their legacies for national identity today. In particular, does the association of Britishness with liberal values of due process, human rights and toleration distract us from persistent global associations of the nation with imperial practices of European history, which perhaps manifest in new and even more troubling forms of imperialism? With the British economy facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, to what extent is ‘humanitarian intervention’ via military activism, a new name for the old concept of imperialism and its associated control of resources? What are the politics of inclusion and exclusion around reconstructed notions of Britishness in response? Does the liberal-multicultural emphasis on group rights and differentiated citizenship assist or hinder a project of Britishness? Does the label ‘Britishness’ promise support for liberal values of tolerance, fairness, equality and respect; or is this mere self-congratulation, obscuring extensive problems such as unequal resources and social misrecognition? Will teaching Britishness to young people support a stronger sense of inclusion in the processes of local democracy? And what value does Britishness hold in the context of internationalisation and globalisation?
Speakers include: Professor Pnina Werbner , Dr. Nasar Meer and Dr. Daniel Burdsey.
The full conference program can be seen here: Programme of the ‘Britishness in the 21st Century’ Conference