Magazine
Latest Issue

Identity parades

The dilemma for modern liberal states is how to combine tolerance for diversity with a commitment to universal civic values. Michael Ignatieff considers how Britain, and British identity, is dealing with this dilemma in the face of ethnic and religious difference, Celtic devolution and European integration

The recent death of Enoch Powell provided the Conservative party with the occasion to mourn the loss of a great English nationalist; it allowed others to heave a sigh of relief; it enabled everyone to notice how much the debate about British national identity has changed since 1968. Then we spoke of race; now we talk about ethnic minorities. Then the ambient atmosphere of the debate was relative economic decline and post-imperial despondency. Now our new elite is “branding” Britain as “the young country,” which suggests that we have not lost the capacity to tell ourselves agreeable fairy tales. National…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect