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Delineating England

Research reveals growing appetite for English identity

Politics staff at Cardiff University have conducted research on changing political identities and constitutional attitudes in England which has stimulated widespread public debate on the status of England within the UK; directly influenced a report for the House of Commons on the Consequences of Devolution (the McKay Commission); and influenced the Labour Party’s constitutional thinking.

Working in collaboration with Edinburgh University and the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), Professors Wyn Jones, Scully and Wincott, designed the ‘Future of England Survey’ (FoES) to explore the extent to which people identified as English, defined England as their political community, and sought England-specific institutional arrangements to reflect this sense of community.  The findings of this survey and follow up work found substantial and growing support for England to be explicitly recognised in the governing structures of the UK increasing and growing resentment at the privileged position devolution is perceived to have granted Scotland within the UK, described as ‘devo-anxiety’.

The IPPR’s involvement helped ensure publicity for the findings and also brokered discussions with senior Labour party figures, and the research findings have stimulated widespread public debate and significant media comment, including analysis by leading commentators.

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