The trouble with David Goodhart's Britain

Pathak, Pathik (2007) The trouble with David Goodhart's Britain. The Political Quarterly, 78, (2), 261-271. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2007.00853.x).


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This article argues that David Goodhart's manifesto for ‘progressive nationalism’ is gravely misconceived, indicative of the entire cohesion and integration agenda. What he talks about as the making of a common culture involves dusting off tired traditions, scaling back individual rights to protect the ‘common good’, and ultimately retreating onto safe ground for Middle England. Since such measures to strengthen national solidarity are responsive only to the anxieties of the demographic majority, those who are deemed to be most prone to social marginalisation continue to be so. Goodhart, like many in New Labour's orbit, chooses to ignore that belonging is reciprocal.

The article advocates an alternative culture of citizenship - one that widens democratisation, brings individuals them into the political process and thereby engages the ‘reciprocity of belonging’ that the post-7/7 consensus neglects. To build a cohesive Britain, the first step - but not necessarily the last - is to conceive sustainable routes towards social and political inclusion for all

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2007.00853.x
ISSNs: 0032-3179 (print)
1467-923X (electronic)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 186859
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2007Published
Date Deposited: 18 May 2011 10:29
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2016 09:27

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