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Designing institutions as if identity mattered: England and the UK

By Dr Mark Sandford

This paper approaches the England-UK question from the perspective of the links between territory, identity, and structures of governance.

Debates on the position of England within the UK have been dominated by questions of institutional design. These include various models for an English Parliament; options for the design of a system of English Votes for English Laws; the implications of ‘devolution deals’ and ‘metro-mayors’; the function and composition of the House of Lords.

Publication part of

Governing England

One part of the United Kingdom is often missing from literature and debates about governance, constitution and identity: England. In the aftermath of referendums on Scottish independence and Brexit, the identity and preferences of those who live in England and consider themselves English has become more important. Who are they and how do they want to be governed?