Autonomy initiatives and quintessential Englishness on the Isle of Wight

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Hayward, PR & Grydehoj, A 2011, 'Autonomy initiatives and quintessential Englishness on the Isle of Wight', Island Studies Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 179-202.

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This article addresses the nature of autonomist impulses and initiatives that developed on the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England, in the late 20th Century. Drawing on recent discussions of the process of decolonization of island territories and the broader field of study of ethnopolitical mobilization in support of regional autonomy, the article considers the reasons why local autonomist initiatives failed to secure significant traction with the local population. Focus is placed on the historical process of identity building, on how the Isle of Wight community conceptualizes its relationship with England as a whole and of the manner in which the island and its heritage has been considered as quintessentially English.

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