Reviewer anaivas | Review

#306 The Breakup of Britain: Progressive Utopia or Regressive Nationalism?

Coresponding author's contact details

First name Gabriela Middle name Last name Manley
Title Ms Organization / Institution University of St Andrews Department n/a
Address 26/15 Gardners Crescent Postal / Zip code EH3 8DF Country GB
E-Mail Hidden Phone number Hidden Presenting author Yes

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Abstract title

The Breakup of Britain: Progressive Utopia or Regressive Nationalism?

Abstract text

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has historically marketed itself as a civic movement, rejecting ethnic nationalist discourse and aligning itself with socially democratic values. It has presented a popular vision of Scottish independence as a progressive, left-wing utopia that is only achievable through the breakup of Britain. This vision sits in direct contradiction to those in Scotland who reject independence and consider Scottish independence to be an intrinsically regressive movement. Their visions of progress and future utopias lie in the imaginations of a Scotland that remains part of the UK. These two contrasting visions of ‘the good future’ sit in growing tension as the SNP prepares to call a new independence referendum in Scotland. This paper argues that neither futural vision can be described as ‘progressive’ or ‘regressive’, in part because there is no tenable epistemological difference between these two terms. Rather, both visions stem from deeply affective yet diametrically opposed ideas of what an independent future would look like for Scotland. Both movements seek to secure ‘the good life’, yet this end goal is achieved through radically different means in both cases. It will emphasize the importance of asking for whom is the movement progressive? Why is it considered progressive? Who is the ‘unlikable other’? To do so, it will seek to problematise the very category of ‘progressive’ by showing how both movements share fundamentally similar hopes, desires and imaginations of the future that allow them to claim the ‘progressive’ tag whilst rejecting their counterparts as ‘regressive’.

Conference topic

Panel no. 101 - Progressive/Regressive Visions of the Future? Towards a Dialectical "Next Generation Anthropology" of Social Movements

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Abstract Review

This abstract was reviewed on 2021-01-19 9:26h by anaivas

Reviewer decision