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State of the Union - Oxford Scholarship Online
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State of the Union

Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan


This is the first survey of Unionism, the ideology of most of the rulers of the United Kingdom for the past 300 years. Because it was taken so much for granted, it has never been properly studied. In the twilight of Unionism, it is possible to see its long shadow over British and imperial history since 1707. The book studies the crucial time points at which the Union was built up and partly taken down: 1707, 1800, 1886, 1921, 1974, and 1997 to date. Primordial Unionism (the belief that the union is good in and for itself) now survives only in Northern Ireland. Instrumental Unionism supported t ... More

Keywords: unionism, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Acts of Union, British Empire, parliamentary sovereignty, primordialism, instrumentalism, West Lothian Question, Barnett Formula

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199258208
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199258201.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Iain McLean, author
Professor of Politics, University of Oxford
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Alistair McMillan, author
British Academy Post- Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford
Author Webpage