Leith, Murray Stewart
Nationalism and national identity in Scottish politics.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
Full text available as:
Scotland has long been a nation within a wider state, but only within the last four decades has a political party dedicated to the establishment of a Scottish state emerged as an electoral force. Yet, since that time the political landscape within the United Kingdom has changed rapidly. While some see devolution as a step towards the separation of Scotland from the United Kingdom, others argue it is a strengthening of that relationship.
This thesis argues that only by acknowledging the ethnic and mass influences on the nature of Scottish national identity will an understanding of Scottish nationalism be possible. After considering the theoretical arguments surrounding nationalism, and specifically Scottish nationalism, the work shifts to an empirical analysis of Scotland. To examine the nature of Scottish nationalism and national identity, this research considers the manifestos of the political parties over the past thirty-five years, examining how they have employed a sense of Scotland the nation, and Scottishness. This consideration is then linked to an analysis of mass perceptions of national belonging and identity, which are themselves contrasted with elite perceptions, gleaned through interviews conducted amongst MPs and MSPs.
The results indicate the need to recognise that ethnic aspects of Scottish national identity are more significant than the foremost theoretical considerations of nationalism and national identity allow. Furthermore, this case study illustrates that the impact that mass perceptions have on national identity also requires greater recognition within the field.
Actions (login required)