Over recent decades, more and more English residents have described being ‘English’ as the main or an important part of their identity. Over the same period, many writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers have explored the idea of Englishness and interest in and the study of English history have grown.
The rise in English identity is shaping and being shaped by politics. Devolution to cities and counties, procedures in the House of Commons, the English debate about the European Union, responses to Welsh and Scottish devolution, and the organisation of political parties in England are all reflecting English concerns. As yet, there is no settled English identity; it is still being shaped. The Centre for English Identity and Politics, led by former MP John Denham, is developing a cross-disciplinary programme of lectures, seminars, conferences and cultural events. These will increase our understanding of the forces driving English identity and develop ideas for how it can be inclusive and forward-looking.
Wednesday 18 January 2017: Cllr Judith Blake (Leader, Leeds Council): English devolution: Devo-revolution?
Devolution deals have been agreed with ten 'combined authorities' across England. More are proposed, including in southern England. Does this represent a fundamental change in the way England is governed? Or is there too little money and power to allow local authorities to make a real difference in their area? Is it 'power to the people' or a cosy deal between ministers and council leaders in which the public has no say? And where do mayors fit in?
Councillor Judith Blake is leader of Leeds City Council and leader of the Leeds Labour group. She is a key player in the establishment of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the negotiation of the Leeds City Region Deal.
Tuesday 28 February 2017: Simon Heffer: Five hundred years of Englishness
Join us for a talk by British journalist, author and political commentator Simon Heffer as he explores what it is in English history that might help us define and understand England's distinctive identity and values, at a time when England is (once again) looking away from the Continent.
For information on previous CEIP events, please see the Archive links in the right-hand side column.