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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: 'We Can’t Afford to be a Branch Office’: The Territorial Dynamics of the British Labour Party
Author(s): Brown Swan, Coree
Kenny, Michael
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Keywords: Law
Sociology and Political Science
Issue Date: Jan-2024
Date Deposited: 29-Feb-2024
Citation: Brown Swan C & Kenny M (2024) 'We Can’t Afford to be a Branch Office’: The Territorial Dynamics of the British Labour Party. <i>Parliamentary Affairs</i>, 77 (1), pp. 109-128.
Abstract: Despite having delivered devolution, the British Labour Party has faced significant challenges in adapting to, and competing effectively in, a multi-level political space. This article explores this dynamic in the context of a pivotal period of change (2015–2019), in which the party was led by Jeremy Corbyn, a political outsider, and when British politics was riven by Brexit. In this article we highlight the operation of a key strategic duality underlying the territorial politics pursued by both Scottish and Welsh Labour parties: an endemic and unresolved desire to seek greater autonomy from the UK party, on the one hand: and the preference to retain or gain influence at the centre of British politics, on the other. How these goals were pursued, and tensions between them managed by the territorial parties and their leaders, are central to an understanding of how the party handled the challenges created by devolution more broadly.
DOI Link: 10.1093/pa/gsac022
Rights: © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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