‘Making your mind up’: Britain, Europe and eurovision-scepticism

Ben Wellings, Zoë Jay, Catherine Strong

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This chapter argues that the history of Britain’s ambivalent involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest is linked to Britain’s ambivalent involvement in the process of European integration from 1961-2016. Early promise and active engagement gave way to a narrative of decline that was both a symptom and a cause of progressive disillusion with and disengagement from Europe. Memories of former greatness prevented an active engagement with both Eurovision and European integration from the 1990s: memories of the defiance of Nazism in 1940 in the case of the EU; and memories of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ in the case of Eurovision. British responses to Eurovision remain trapped between aloofness and an inability to compete successfully.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEurovisions
Subtitle of host publicationIdentity and the International Politics of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1956
EditorsJulie Kalman, Ben Wellings, Keshia Jacotine
Place of PublicationGateway East, Singapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789811394270
ISBN (Print)9789811394263
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Englishness
  • Euroscepticism
  • Eurovision Song Contest
  • National identity
  • United Kingdom

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