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National Identities, National Pride and Xenophobia: A Comparison of Four Western Countries

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This article scrutinizes the theoretically proposed positive sides of different forms of civic national attachment. Data come from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) 1995, which is a programme for cross-country comparative attitude studies. Two different forms of attachment and their relationships to xenophobia have been examined, namely national identity and national pride. In order to dismiss possible country-specific phenomena, four Western countries, Australia, Germany, Britain and Sweden were studied. The choice of countries was based on the different policy regimes implemented in the areas of citizenship and immigration, which illustrate how the nation-state is conceptualized in the different countries. The results show that both civic national identity and national pride go together with xenophobia, whereas the reverse holds for ethnic national identity and national pride in all four countries, despite their different conceptualizations of the nation-state. In all, the article gives empirical support for the proposed theoretical argument of a separation of the civic and ethnic in society.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-12-01

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