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National identities in the age of globalisation: The case of Western Europe

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In an age of increasing globalisation and political fragmentation, does the nation have the relevance it once had? Is the re-scaling of political and economic processes associated with a similar re-scaling of national identities? The aim of the present paper is to offer an answer to these two questions on the basis of both quantitative and qualitative data recently collected for Western Europe. Cross-country trends for both national pride and national attachment are analyzed through Eurobarometer Standard surveys. Furthermore, the notion of national attachment is discussed in relation to qualitative data collected in four regional case-studies in Western Europe. On the basis of this analysis I argue that, when viewed 'from below', i.e. from the eyes of ordinary citizens, national identity continues to shape the predominant ways in which people make sense of themselves and others.
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Keywords: Western Europe; globalisation; identity; nation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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