The issues surrounding constitutional reform, brought to the fore by the referendum on Scottish independence, the development of devolution settlements and the establishment of English votes for English laws (EVEL), have opened up major questions around how England is being affected by constitutional change. To address these questions, the British Academy is working on a major programme of activity relating to identity and institutions in England and to the relationships between them. Is there an emergent English political identity? What are the implications of that for the governance of England? And how should English citizens be involved in the process of remaking their constitution?
The place of England within the Union can best be understood in terms of its relationship with the other nations of the UK, as well as EU institutions. The programme therefore brings together perspectives on England and Englishness from across the UK and beyond.
The programme considers developments in parliament, government, and the political parties - all areas where we can ask whether England and Englishness is emerging as something distinct and visible within the Union. It will also look at changes to the governance of England’s cities and regions, considering the implications for the constitution as a whole, and the relationship between institutional change and political identity at the regional level.
The second year of the project, up to autumn 2018, will focus primarily on the funding of sub-national government in England and on public services.