The United Kingdom and British Empire: A Figurational Approach

BLACK, Jack (2018). The United Kingdom and British Empire: A Figurational Approach. Rethinking History, 22 (1), 3-24.

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Drawing upon the work of Norbert Elias and the process [figurational] sociology perspective, this article examines how state formation processes are related to, and, affected by, expanding and declining chains of international interdependence. In contrast to civic and ethnic conceptions, this approach focuses on the emergence of the nation/nation-state as grounded in broader processes of historical and social development. In doing so, state formation processes within the United Kingdom are related to the expansion and decline of the British Empire. That is, by focusing on the functional dynamics that are embedded in collective groups, one is able to consider how the UK’s ‘state’ and ‘imperial’ figurations were interdependently related to changes in both the UK and the former British Empire. Consequently, by locating contemporary UK relations in the historical context of former imperial relationships, nationalism studies can go ‘beyond’ the nation/nation-state in order to include broader processes of imperial expansion and decline. Here, the relationship between empire and nationalism can offer a valuable insight into contemporary political movements, especially within former imperial groups.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
Departments: Health and Well-being > Department of Sport
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Jack Black
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 10:03
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018 14:01

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