Nationhood and Muslims in Britain

Meer, Nasar and Uberoi, Varun and Modood, Tariq; Foner, Nancy and Simon, Patrick, eds. (2015) Nationhood and Muslims in Britain. In: Fear, Anxiety, and National Identity. Russell Sage. ISBN 978-1-61044-853-6

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‘These are difficult times to be British’, maintain Gamble and Wright (2009: 1). Their assessment centres on how ‘the state which underpinned British identity is no longer the confident structure of earlier times’ (ibid.). They are not alone in coming to this view , and at least two implications follow from their observation. One is that the political unity of the administrative and bureaucratic components of the state is related to cultural features of British nationhood, including the ways in which people express feeling and being British. This is perhaps a familiar assessment of the configuration of all nation-states, though it could also imply that the state has been one – though not necessarily the most important - touchstone in the historical cultivation of ‘British’ as a national identity (Uberoi and McLean, 2009).