Library Dissertation Showcase

Just how civic are we? An empirical analysis of the ethnic-civic nationalism framework in explaining identity boundary conceptions in the formation of national identity and ingroup collective belonging in the United Kingdom

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2023

The ethnic-civic framework of nationalism is one that has persisted within nationalism studies. Originating from the work of Kohn (1944) it differentiated between two types of opposed nationalism. Within the framework and Kohn’s ideas, the United Kingdom has consistently been used as an archetypal Western/civic state. Whilst state policy is one way of measuring nationalist sentiment – within the ethnic-civic framework – and as defining the boundaries of the nation. Very little attention is paid to the attitudes of individual members of the nation and the ways in which their perceptions of the boundaries of national identity affect the formation of identity. This study uses the civic-ethnic framework as a starting point to analyse individual attitude towards different boundaries of national identity. However, after a crucial assessment of the framework it concludes that as a framework it hold little explanatory power and that instead it should encompass a cultural dimension that intersects between the ethnic and civic dimensions if it want to survive as a valid framework to study nationalism. The results regarding individual opinions of boundaries of the national identity also conclude that the unlike is often suggested in literature, the dominant National Identity in the United Kingdom is multifaceted and more consensus over civic boundaries of the nation, ethnic boundaries are still considered as important markers of national identity by a significant number of people.

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