Anglo-British Exceptionalisms and the European ‘Other’: White Masculinities in Discourses of British National Identity

Charlotte Galpin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Gender is essential for understanding British/English national identity. Feminist and queer scholars note that gender and sexuality are central to politics, yet frequently omitted from political analysis. Some scholars have highlighted the hegemonic masculinities that underpinned Brexit campaigns, but the role of gender in the construction of national identity in Europe has not been analysed in-depth. Combining literature on national and European identities with feminist theories of gender and nationalism, I outline four discourses of Anglo-British exceptionalism: British sovereignty and military power; the British as defenders of liberty; Britain as a global trading nation; and England as a white Protestant 'island nation'. Constructed against the European Other, these discourses are underpinned by gender-based hierarchies that intersect with class, race and sexuality. These findings demonstrate the need for feminist and gender analysis not just of Britain’s relationship with the European Union but also more broadly within political science and EU studies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Early online date27 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Oct 2023

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