From declinism to endism: exploring the ideology of British break-up

Arthur Aughey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A generation of scholars have considered the question of British decline and engaged in a lively debate about the relative standing of the United Kingdom as a world power. However, as Kenny and English argued, there has often been a practical aspect to this debate which they called ‘declinism’, a concern with courses of action or solutions and revealing the anxieties and anticipations of post-war Britain. It is argued here that one can detect in certain reflections on constitutional change in the United Kingdom an ideology of endism. This article argues that it is possible to distinguish between devolution - ending one specific form of British governance - and the ideological reading of that moment – endism which expresses wished-for outcomes. It examines the inter-related assumptions of endist thinking and assesses its place within the British political imagination
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-30
    JournalJournal of Political Ideologies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 5 Feb 2010


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