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Fractured Union: An evening with Michael Kenny in conversation with Helen Thompson

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23/01/2024 | 6.00pm – 7.30pm
Heffers Cambridge, 20 Trinity Street. Cambridge. CB2 1TY

Join Professor Michael Kenny in conversation with Professor Helen Thompson about his latest book, Fractured Union. There will be time for questions from the audience and to buy a copy of the book and get it signed by the author.

Description of Fractured Union: Poverty, Sovereignty and the Fight to Save the UK

The question of the United Kingdom’s survival, once taken for granted, looms large in British politics. This book uncovers the roots of today’s crisis, revealing MPs’ and civil servants’ assumptions in their understanding of the Union, and profound pessimism within politics about its long-term viability.

Why has the political class struggled to engage productively with devolution? Has English voters’ disenchantment with a detached central government influenced how politicians and bureaucrats regard the UK’s future? How have seismic events fuelled tensions between Westminster and devolved administrations, from the SNP’s election and independence referendum to Brexit and Covid? And what now? Fractured Union offers a vivid account of the gradual loss of British unity, illuminating the forces and pressures now shaping the future of both nations and peoples.

As nationalism rises across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, this book issues a sharp challenge to those who believe in a united kingdom: deliver better, more responsive government-or risk the UK falling apart.

Michael Kenny is Professor of Public Policy, and inaugural Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, at the University of Cambridge. He has written extensively on national identity, territorial politics and governance, and is the author of a prize-winning study of the impact of English nationalism on British politics.

Helen Thompson is Professor of Political Economy. She has been at Cambridge since 1994. Her current research concentrates on the political economy of energy and the long history of the democratic, economic, and geopolitical disruptions of the twenty-first century. She is a regular panellist on Talking Politics and a columnist for the New Statesman.

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