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After “After Britain”

Donald Dewar and Francis Fukuyama share the same anxiety that all forms of nation-building will collapse into ethnic nationalism. They are wrong

Earlier this year I published After Britain-reflections on the problems of millennial Britain, which focused on Scotland and the likelihood of that country seceding from the United Kingdom at some time in the new century. It attracted two particularly censorious reviews: one from Donald Dewar (in Scotland on Sunday) and one from Francis Fukuyama (in Prospect). Both these had something to add to the argument on the subject. I want to reply to the points they made, partly because it seems to me that a larger thesis lurks behind both attacks; a thesis significant far beyond Scotland or the British-Irish…

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