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Book description

We live in a world in which being a 'citizen' of a state and being a 'national' are by no means the same. Amidst much scholarly debate about 'nations' and 'nationalism', comparatively little has been written explicitly on 'national identity' and a great deal less is solidly evidence-based. This book focuses on national identity in England and Scotland. Using data collected over twenty years it asks: does national identity really matter to people? How does 'national identity' differ from 'nationality' and having a passport? Are there particular people and places which have ambiguous or contested national identities? What happens if someone makes a claim to a national identity? On what basis do others accept or reject the claim? Does national identity have much internal substance, or is it simply about defending group boundaries? How does national identity relate to politics and constitutional change?


'This is clearly the best book ever written on national identity. The authors have worked together for a quarter of a century, and have become very sophisticated analysts, imaginatively using varied methodological tools with exemplary subtlety. The research goes deep, well beyond the daily headlines, and we meet real human beings and come to understand their concerns.’

John A. Hall - James McGill Professor of Comparative Historical Sociology, McGill University, Montréal

'National identity as opposed to the ideologically driven politics of nationalism or an apolitical patriotism is one of the more recent identity-politics themes. This fine book firmly puts it on the sociological map.’

Tariq Modood - Director, University of Bristol Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship

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