Territorial conflict and change in national identification

GT 2.7 Congruencia ideológica entre elites y ciudadanos: propuestas de análisis y medición

María José Hierro Hernandez (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
Sesión 1
Día: miércoles,18 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 15:00 a 17:30
Lugar: E10SEM07

Previous studies have argued that, in multinational countries, decentralization lies behind observed change in the aggregate national identification. According to these studies, regional institutions, by means of the educational system and the mass media, strengthen identification with the stateless nation while diminish exclusive identification with the state-nation. This paper offers a complementary explanation to the one proposed in these studies, and calls attention on the importance of other factors that have not been empirically examined up to now.

The paper suggests that party elites’ activation of the territorial conflict and confrontation along this dimension have important consequences over individuals’ national identification. This argument is tested in Catalonia, a setting in which the center-periphery cleavage and the presence of an important immigrant population from other regions of Spain opens up the possibility for national identification to become a matter of choice, instead of a self-ascribed characteristic.

The empirical analysis of the paper draws on a series of cross-sectional surveys produced by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS) covering the period between 1987 and 2012. A hierarchical analysis is carried out to test the paper’s main argument. Variation in the levels of political confrontation over time allows testing the effect of the changing context on individuals’ identification with Spain and Catalonia.

Palabras clave: political confrontation, territorial conflict, national identity