Skip to main content Accessibility help

Context Matters: Measuring Nationalism in the Countries of the Former Czechoslovakia

  • Miloslav Bahna (a1)

This paper compares nationalism in the two ex-Czechoslovak countries—the Czech and Slovak republics. The aim is to analyze the measurement of nationalism in the 1995, 2003, and 2013 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) National Identity surveys. According to the nationalism measures from the ISSP survey – which are frequently used by authors analyzing nationalism—both countries experienced a significant rise in nationalism in the 1995 to 2013 period. Moreover, invariance testing of the nationalism latent variable confirms the possibility of comparing levels of nationalism between Czechia and Slovakia over time. However, the associations between nationalism, as measured in the study, and concepts related to nationalism—such as xenophobia, protectionism, or assertive foreign policy—suggest that what is measured as nationalism in 1995 is very different from what is measured in 2013. This is explained by a change of context which occurred in both countries between 1995 and 2013. While answering the same question had a strong nationalistic connotation in 1995, this was not the case in 2013. Based on our findings we advise against using the analyzed “nationalism” items as measurement of nationalism even beyond the two analyzed countries.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Context Matters: Measuring Nationalism in the Countries of the Former Czechoslovakia
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Context Matters: Measuring Nationalism in the Countries of the Former Czechoslovakia
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Context Matters: Measuring Nationalism in the Countries of the Former Czechoslovakia
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email:
Hide All
Adorno, Theodor W., Frenkel-Brunswik, Else, Levinson, Daniel J., and Nevitt Sanford, R.. 1950. The Authoritarian Personality. New York: Harper & Row.
Blank, Thomas, Schmidt, Peter, and Bettina, Westle. 2001. “‘Patriotism’—a Contradiction, a Possibility or an Empirical Reality?ECPR Workshop 26: National Identity in Europe 1:126. Grenoble.
Braun, Michael, Behr, Dorothée, and Medrano, Juan Díez. 2017. “What Do Respondents Mean When They Report to Be ‘Citizens of the World’? Using Probing Questions to Elucidate International Differences in Cosmopolitanism.” Quality & Quantity.
Byrne, Barbara M., Richard, J. Shavelson, and Muthén, Bengt. 1989. “Testing for the Equivalence of Factor Covariance and Mean Structures: The Issue of Partial Measurement Invariance.” Psychological Bulletin 105 (3): 456466.
Ceobanu, Alin M., and Escandell, Xavier. 2008. “East Is West? National Feelings and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Europe.” Social Science Research 37 (4): 11471170.
Chen, Fang Fang. 2007. “Sensitivity of Goodness of Fit Indexes to Lack of Measurement Invariance.” Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 14 (3): 464504.
Coenders, Marcel, and Scheepers, Peer. 2003. “The Effect of Education on Nationalism and Ethnic Exclusionism: An International Comparison.” Political Psychology 24 (2): 313343.
Davidov, Eldad. 2009. “Measurement Equivalence of Nationalism and Constructive Patriotism in the ISSP: 34 Countries in a Comparative Perspective.” Political Analysis 17 (1): 6482.
Davidov, Eldad. 2011. “Nationalism and Constructive Patriotism: A Longitudinal Test of Comparability in 22 Countries with the ISSP.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 23 (1): 88103.
de Figueiredo, Rui J. P. Jr., and Zachary, Elkins. 2003. “Are Patriots Bigots? An Inquiry into the Vices of In-Group Pride.” American Journal of Political Science 47 (1): 171188.
Dražanová, Lenka. 2015. “National Identity and the Interplay between National Pride and Ethnic Exclusionism: The Exceptional Case of the Czech Republic.” Ethnopolitics 14 (3): 235255.
Frič, Pavol, Bútorová, Zora, and Rosová, Tatiana. 1992. “Česko-Slovenské Vzťahy v Zrkadle Empirického Výskumu.” Sociológia 24 (1–2): 4374.
Green, Eva G. T., Sarrasin, Oriane, Fasel, Nicole, and Staerklé, Christian. 2011. “Nationalism and Patriotism as Predictors of Immigration Attitudes in Switzerland: A Municipality-Level Analysis.” Swiss Political Science Review 17 (4): 369393.
Gyárfášová, Oľga, Krivý, Vladimír, and Velšic, Marián. 2001. Krajina v Pohybe: Správa O Politických Názoroch a Hodnotách L̓udí Na Slovensku. Bratislava: Inštitút pre verejné otázky.
Haller, Max, Kaup, Gerd, and Resler, Regina. 2009. “National Identity in Comparative Perspective.” In The International Social Survey Program, 1984-2009: Charting the Globe, edited by Max Haller, Roger Jowell, and Tom W. Smith, 222241. London: Routledge.
Heath, Anthony F., and Tilley, James R.. 2005. “British National Identity and Attitudes towards Immigration.” International Journal on Multicultural Societies (IJMS) 7 (2): 119132.
Henderson, Karen. 1995. “Czechoslovakia: The Failure of Consensus Politics and the Break-up of the Federation.” Regional & Federal Studies 5 (2): 111133.
Henderson, Karen. 1997. “Transformation in the Czech and Slovak Republics: Elite Receptions and Responses.” Harmonie Papers Special Issue: Governance Structures in Central and Eastern Europe 4 (vi): 89102.
Hislope, Robert. 1998. “Can Evolutionary Theory Explain Nationalist Violence? Czechoslovak and Bosnian Illustrations.” Nations and Nationalism 4 (4): 463482.
Hjerm, Mikael. 1998. “National Identities, National Pride and Xenophobia: A Comparison of Four Western Countries.” Acta Sociologica 41 (4): 335347.
Hjerm, Mikael. 2003. “National Sentiments in Eastern and Western Europe.” Nationalities Papers 31 (4): 413429.
Hjerm, Mikael, and Schnabel, Annette. 2010. “Mobilizing Nationalist Sentiments: Which Factors Affect Nationalist Sentiments in Europe?Social Science Research 39 (4): 527539.
Holmes, Finch William, and French, Brian F.. 2015. Latent Variable Modeling with R. London: Routledge.
Holy, Ladislav. 1996. The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation: National Identity and the Post-Communist Social Transformation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Hroch, Miroslav. 1993. “From National Movement to the Fully-Formed Nation.” New Left Review 198: 320.
Huddy, Leonie, and Khatib, Nadia. 2007. “American Patriotism, National Identity, and Political Involvement.” American Journal of Political Science 51 (1): 6377.
Krause, Kevin Deegan. 2003. “Slovakia’s Second Transition.” Journal of Democracy 14 (2): 6579.
Kunovich, Robert M. 2009. “The Sources and Consequences of National Identification.” American Sociological Review 74 (4): 573593.
Latcheva, Rossalina. 2010. “Nationalism versus Patriotism, or the Floating Border? National Identification and Ethnic Exclusion in Post-Communist Bulgaria.” Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology 1 (2): 187215.
Latcheva, Rossalina. 2011. “Cognitive Interviewing and Factor-Analytic Techniques: A Mixed Method Approach to Validity of Survey Items Measuring National Identity.” Quality and Quantity 45 (6): 11751199.
Lubbers, Marcel, and Meuleman, Roza. 2016. “Participation in National Celebrations and Commemorations: The Role of Socialization and Nationalism in the Dutch Context.” Social Science Research 55: 111121.
Muršič, Rajko. 2000. “The Yugoslav Dark Side of Humanity: A View from a Slovene Blind Spot.” In Neighbors at War: Anthropological Perspectives on Yugoslav Ethnicity, Culture, and History , edited by Joel M. Harpern and David A. Kideckel, 5677. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
O’Rouke, Kevin H, and Sinnott, Richard. 2002. “The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence.” In Brookings Trade Forum 2001, edited by Susan M. Collins and Dani Rodrik, 157206. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Rosseel, Yves. 2012. “Lavaan: An R Package for Structural Equation Modeling.” Journal of Statistical Software 48 (2): 136.
Schatz, Robert T., Staub, Ervin, and Lavine, Howard. 1999. “On the Varieties of National Attachment: Blind Versus Constructive Patriotism.” Political Psychology 20 (1): 151174.
Sigurd Hilde, Paal. 1999. “Slovak Nationalism and the Break-up of Czechoslovakia.” Europe-Asia Studies 51 (4): 647665.
Sinnott, Richard. 2005. “An Evaluation of the Measurement of National, Subnational and Supranational Identity in Crossnational Surveys.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 18 (2): 211223.
Smith, Tom W. 2009. “National Pride in Comparative Perspective.” In The International Social Survey Programme, 1984-2009: Charting the Globe, edited by Max Haller, Roger Jowell, and Tom W. Smith, 197221. London: Routledge.
Smith, Tom W., and Kim, Seokho. 2006. “National Pride in Comparative Perspective.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 18 (1): 127136.
Smith, Tom W, and Jarkko, Lars. 1998. “National Pride: A Cross-National Analysis.” GSS Cross - National Report No. 19, no. 19.
Steenkamp, Jan Benedict, E. M., and Baumgartner, Hans. 1998. “Assessing Measurement Invariance in Cross National Consumer Research.” Journal of Consumer Research 25 (1): 78107.
Szomolányi, Soňa. 1994. “Was The Dissolution Of Czechoslovakia Inevitable?” Scottish Affairs 8: 3143.
Tilley, James, and Heath, Anthony. 2007. “The Decline of British National Pride.” British Journal of Sociology 58 (4): 661678.
Vlachová, Klára, and Řeháková, Blanka. 2009. “Identity of Non-Self-Evident Nation: Czech National Identity after the Break-up of Czechoslovakia and before Accession to the European Union.” Nations and Nationalism 15 (2): 254279.
Weiss, Hilde. 2003. “A Cross-National Comparison of Nationalism in Austria, the Czech and Slovac Republics, Hungary, and Poland.” Political Psychology 24 (2): 377401.
Whitefield, Stephen, and Geoffrey, Evans. 1999. “Political Culture Versus Rational Choice: Explaining Responses to Transition in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.” British Journal of Political Science 29 (1): 129154.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Nationalities Papers
  • ISSN: 0090-5992
  • EISSN: 1465-3923
  • URL: /core/journals/nationalities-papers
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed