Author: Roger Scully, Cardiff University

Day Two – Wednesday 26th June

Strand – Identity and Place

Session Four: 11.30am – 1pm

Attitudes towards the nation have become increasingly central to UK politics in recent times. While some aspects, such as national identities and constitutional preferences, have been studied in detail, little is known about the national sentiments that may underpin such identities and preferences.

This paper will address these deficiencies in current knowledge by drawing on a hitherto neglected series of items in parallel surveys conducted in 2003 in England, Scotland and Wales. It demonstrates that these items can be combined to form reliable, multi-item scales of sentiments towards Britain and towards England, Scotland and Wales. The paper then examines the relationship between sentiments towards Britain and those towards the sub-state nations of Britain, demonstrating such attitudes to be positively related in England, but largely unrelated in both Scotland and Wales.

Finally, the paper explores the extent to which national sentiments are related to national identities and constitutional preferences, finding that national sentiments add significantly to analysts’ ability to explain both phenomena.

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