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Title: The role of ethnic diversity and education in determining national identity and political behaviour
Author: Masella, Paolo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 5798
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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The process of individual identity formation is still an enigma, as is the capacity of public bodies to intervene in it. This thesis is the first to take a step in this direction. Using individual data from the World Value Survey, the second chapter presents several findings on the relationship between national sentiment and ethnic diversity. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find no evidence of a lower intensity of national sentiment in more ethnically fragmented countries or in minority groups. National feelings in a minority can be higher or lower than in a majority, depending on the degree of ethnic diversity of a country. On the one hand, in countries with high ethnic polarization, minorities have weaker national sentiments than majorities; on the other hand, in countries with low ethnic polarization, the reverse is true. We then develop a model of national identity formation that is consistent with the facts presented in the empirical section. As a second step, using survey data from Catalonia, we estimate the impact on identity of the 1983 educational reform, by which the education system became bilingual, and Catalan, together with Spanish, was taught in schools. Using within and between cohort variation in exposure to the Catalan language at school, the results show that individuals who have experienced greater exposure to teaching in Catalan are more likely to say that they feel more Catalan than Spanish. In the subsequent chapter, we study the effect of the Catalan reform on political behaviour. We find that the change in the educational system stimulated turnout and changed the political choices of the agents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available