The British General Election of 2010: A Moment of Reckoning for a Torn Country?
Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Note, June 2010
7 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 14, 2010
One of the most perceptive insights in the late Samuel Huntington’s much-misunderstood essay The Clash of Civilizations was its discussion of “torn countries,” those whose elites - as in Turkey today or early 1990s Mexico - face a stark choice between embracing or rejecting Western free-market liberal democracy. What Huntington seemingly took for granted was that the political civilization of the West was confident and stable in its own political identity. Amongst the traditional bastions of this shared civilization, nowhere is this less true than in the contemporary United Kingdom. The protracted affair that was the recent parliamentary election brought into relief how far this country, despite its traditional but misleading staid image, is torn between multiple identities that offer conflicting visions of Britain and its place in the world.
Keywords: United Kingdom, 2010 Election
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