By M. Spiering
Why are the British so Euro-sceptic? ignore tedious treaties, get together politics or diplomacy. the true cause is that the British don't feel eu. This booklet explores and explains the cultural divide among Britain and Europe, the place it comes from and the way it manifests itself in way of life and the educational global.
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Extra resources for A Cultural History of British Euroscepticism
The practice of Trevelyan’s and all British historiographic exceptionalism rests on two assumptions. Firstly, and perhaps obviously, there must be ‘parametric compliance’, that is, consensus that the parameters of a comparison (in this case between Britain and Europe) are valid and useful. In other words, it must be accepted as true that there is such a thing as ‘Britain’ and such a thing as ‘Europe’, and that they are distinct concepts. For Trevelyan, Macaulay and many others this binary principle is a simple given.
Boasting spectacular sets, cheeky yarns, gargantuan boobies, oddball antics, and of course – naked people’ (Channel 4 2007). Secondly the important point must be made that oppositional thinking as such is by no means unique to the British. Some talk about ‘British exceptionalism’ as if this nation has a patent on contrastive self-definition. In fact oppositional thinking is a normal ingredient of any identification process. Germans see themselves as not French, the Portuguese are not Spanish, etc.
Timothy Garton Ash’s observation that ‘Britain serves as the model of a “normal” nation-state’ is undoubtedly true. ‘If you look at the historiography of any other nation in Europe, you realize that exceptionalism is the norm. Every national historiography is about what is distinctive or peculiar about that particular nation, and most of them contrast what is distinctive or peculiar in their own national history’ (Garton Ash 2001, 7). However, what Britain does not share with ‘any other nation in Europe’ is the sense that it is not just, say, the French, Germans or Italians that serve as the Other, but the Europeans en masse, as if they are one distinct nation.
A Cultural History of British Euroscepticism by M. Spiering