Modelling national identity in the Scottish National Party and Frisian National Party

Arno Van Der Zwet

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The article sets out to explore the complexity of national identity and to provide a more nuanced understanding of how inclusive and exclusive characteristics of national identity, which appear theoretically contradictory, show empirically considerable compatibility. Based on existing literature a multi-dimensional model - consisting of ethnic, cultural, territorial and civic dimensions, is developed to empirically explore national identity in two autonomist parties; the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the United Kingdom and Frisian National Party (FNP) in the Netherlands. The evidence draws from two unique, full party membership datasets. The model is operationalised using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. The conclusion is that national identity can be conceptualised as consisting of one, or several, base layer(s) which can be 'topped-up' with secondary layers. The results also draw attention to the potential lack of coherence between implicit and explicit understandings of national identity in autonomist parties.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 14 Nov 2013
EventPSA Comparative Politics group Conference - Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Nov 201315 Apr 2014


ConferencePSA Comparative Politics group Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • comparative politics
  • SNP
  • Scottish National Party
  • Frisian national party
  • national identity


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