The definition of 'Englishness' has become the subject of considerable debate, and in this important contribution tto Ideas in Context Julia Stapleton looks at the work of one of the most wide-ranging and influential theorists of the English nation, Ernest Barker. The first holder of the Chair of Political Science at Cambridge, Barker wrote prolifically on the history of political thought and contemporary political theory, and his writings are notable for fusing three of the dominant strands of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century political thought, Whiggism, Idealism and Pluralism. Infused with a strong cultural sense of nationhood, Barker's writings influenced a broad non-academic audience, and their subsequent neglect graphically demonstrates the fate of a certain vision of Liberal England in the generation after World War One. With, however, the erosion of a particular sense of Englishness, Barker's ideas have begun to assume renewed resonance.
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