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Title: 'For king and country' : the inclusive effects of national identity, measurement and analysis
Author: Spreckelsen, Thees
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 1775
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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THIS thesis investigates whether national identity still has a role to play in present-day society, and whether this role can be measured multidimensionally and cross-nationally. In reviewing the existing literature on nations and nationalism, national identity is defined as an abstract social identity based on a belief in an involuntary, historically extended community. Two theoretical mechanisms, cognitive biases and functional interdependence, are identified as potential sources of national identity effects at the indi- vidual level. However, in light of the definition of national identity as being abstract, these mechanisms are also found to be wanting regarding their explanatory power. A major aspect of this thesis is the measurement of national identity, which must take into account the multidimensional nature of the concept and the need for cross-national comparison. National identity is measured along four dimensions: its strength, geographical attachment, evaluation and content. It is found that these represent irreducible aspects of national identity. Furthermore, it is investigated whether national identity is cross-nationally com- parable, both in terms of survey compatibility and equivalence of meaning. A set of novel ideal-types are uncovered using the four dimensions of national identity to characterize countries. Empirically, national identity is associated with individuals' sense of solidarity, although in an unexpected and more general man- ner. Additionally, lower levels of welfare-state benefits and living in post-socialist countries are associated with higher levels of soli- darity. A second analysis provides some plausibility for an indirect national identity political participation mechanism, mediated by social trust and a sense of representation amongst individuals. A further direct relationship between national identity's civic content and political participation found, leading to a discussion on the association between national identity and social cohesion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available