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National Attachment – Cohesive Divisive, or Both?: A Reconsideration of the National Identity Argument through the Lens of Social Identity Theory
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2019 (English)In: Liberal Nationalism and Its Critics: Normative and Empirical Questions / [ed] Gustavsson, Gina; Miller, David, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, p. 59-77Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

What are the implications of the psychological research on social identities for the national identity argument? A large number of empirical studies of in-group sympathy and helpfulness, this chapter argues, suggest that the sheer strength of a person’s national attachment should increase her solidarity with her co-nationals. Contrary to what has recently been argued, this relationship is likely to be independent of how a) she conceives of the content of that identity, and b) the extent to which she believes that her co-nationals in turn share this commitment. Viewing nationhood as a social identity further implies that we should distinguish between three dimensions of national attachment: national identity, national pride, and national chauvinism. Having thus theoretically nuanced the expectations that underpin the national identity argument, the chapter proceeds to test them empirically. It uses survey data from the Netherlands (LISS), a more relevant context for liberal nationalists, it is argued, than the more typically studied cases of the U.S. and Canada. While the three-dimensional structure of national attachment is similar to the one previously found in the US, in the Dutch case there are also significant relationships between national attachment and support for egalitarianism, even when controlling for ideology. In line with the theoretical expectations, national identity turns out to be consistently related to more willingness to share resources with our co-nationals. National pride on the contrary shows a negative link to redistributive solidarity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. p. 59-77
Keywords [en]
national attachment, national identity, national pride, national chauvinism, national identity argument, egalitarianism, redistributive solidarity, LISS, liberal nationalism, social identity theory
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-379195ISBN: 9780198842545 (print)ISBN: 9780192580139 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-379195DiVA, id: diva2:1295948
Available from: 2019-03-13 Created: 2019-03-13 Last updated: 2020-03-31Bibliographically approved

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