In what country is Berwick?

The location of Berwick-upon-Tweed might seem to be a simple matter. It’s in the UK, right? Yes, but which part of the UK?
Between 1147 and 1182, it changed hands between England and Scotland no less than 13 times. Although it has been part of England for five centurie now, a local poll found that residents of the town would rather be in Scotland and ruled by the Scottish Parliament than in England and ruled by Westminster.
This might seem to be a trivial – even a humorous – matter but it begs a fundamental question: What is the nature of the nation state? Subsidiary questions include: How do we define a nation state? Who decides whether a territory is to constitute a state? How do we deal with those who do not identify with the state?
I’ve explored these questions in this short essay.

One Comment

  • Philip

    I think it also more readily brings to focus the issue of difference in funding etc between the two countries and the potential benefits of being in Scotland rather than England, tuition fees for a start.


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