Not the end of history : the continuing role of national identity and state sovereignty in Britain
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Francis Fukuyama's End of History paradigm critiques the post-Coid War era. His premise is that liberal democracy is emerging as a global phenomenon because of the collapse of communism as a viable ideology. As a result, the states of the international system are then able to concentrate their efforts in economic maximization and in the building of an international consumer environment. Fukuyama's paradigm is compared to the integration scholarship of David Mitrany and Ernst B. Haas. As Fukuyama perceives nationalism becoming a less relevant issue in Western Europe because of the progressive elements of economic and political integration, Mitrany was one of the earlier political theorists to articulate that the purpose of politics was about the solving of practical problems of states through the development of functional international agencies. Haas believed that not only was nationalism dormant in Western Europe, but that its states would slowly but surely relinquish their sovereignty because of pressure from economic and political groups interested in the development of a supranational Europe. What Haas came to realize, however, was that the concepts of sovereignty and self-determination remain important variables in certain regions of Western Europe. The purpose of this dissertation, then, is to examine the clash between economic maximization and the role of ideas in Western Europe focusing particularly on a state not known for its nationalistic fervour. This dissertation examines the British Conservative Party's and the Scottish National Party's (SNP) position regarding devolution (the Union) and the future scope of the European Union. The SNP is important to analyse because it offers a radical alternative to the status quo and, moreover, this project examines the Party's internal divisions over the EU and its relevance to the devolution principle. There are certain factions within the Tory Party which perceive the establishment of a single currency as detrimental to parliamentary sovereignty and that there should be a repatriation of functions back to the member states. This empirical exercise adds credibility to the argument that despite the alleged and perceived benefits of further economic and political integration, there are political groups who perceive certain issues, like self-determination, worth defending. In a liberal democracy there can exist clashes over fundamental issues. This, thus, offers a sound contribution to the End of History debate.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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