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Title: European Unionists : the paradox of nationalism in contemporary Scotland and northern Italy
Author: Urquhart, Mark A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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The thesis seeks to examine contemporary separatism in Scotland and Northern Italy, set within the European Union (EU). It asks to what extent these examples can be said to adhere to traditional theories of nationalism. It poses the question of how much labels such as 'nationalist' and 'federalist' can tell us of contemporary parties, given the context which an integrating Europe provides. The thesis aims to flesh out the paradox of concurrent pressure on Europe's established states from above and below, by examining sub-national movements in the supranational EU context. The explicit focus of the thesis is a comparison of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Italian Northern League. These parties were chosen because they have not before been compared in such detail. They provide a good yardstick of the separatist spectrum, the former being perceived to be committed to an independent Scottish state, the latter to an autonomous, federal Italian North. The thesis situates both parties within a general analysis of old and new theories of nationalism and discusses the relevance of these within the contemporary EU. The thesis then examines the histories of both the Italian and British 'nation-states' and the emergence of both parties as electoral forces within these. The argument is made that, within the EU's supranational auspices, any differences in headline constitutional aim between the SNP and the League start to blur. Further analysis of the parties' policy pronouncements, voter profiles and activists' attitudes point to a more complex dynamic than terms such as 'nationalist' or 'federalist' can capture. Neither party has a fixed constitutional end but rather reacts to the prevailing circumstances with ideological fluidity, so that neither can be said to seek a definitively nationalist or federalist solution. Both parties, however, seek to be part of the emerging, integrated European Union.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available