Sheep in wolves clothing? definitions of the nation in the Scottish and Frisian national party

Arno Van Der Zwet

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper aims to explore the importance of both subjective/civic and objective/ethnocultural variables in definitions of the nation used by members of two Western European civic autonomist parties, the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Scotland and Frisian National Party (FNP) in Friesland, the Netherlands. It will be argued that despite both parties’ civic credentials, objective variables (like birth and ancestry), which are associated with an ethnocultural conceptualisation of the nation do play a part in how members of these parties define the nation. Conceptualising civic and ethnocultural nationalism as two related continuums, rather than a dichotomy or a single spectrum, gives us a better understanding of how these party members conceive the nation. The final part of the paper explores how the two parties relate to external forces that infringe on the classic idea of sovereignty associated with nationalism. It attempts to establish whether there are relationships between the different intra party conceptualisations of the nation and members’ attitude towards immigration and European integration. The paper concludes by stating that the utilisation of objective variables does not mean that such definitions of the nation are exclusive and lead to an insular type of nationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Aug 2010
EventEuropean Consortium for Political research - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 31 Aug 2012 → …


ConferenceEuropean Consortium for Political research
Period31/08/12 → …


  • SNP
  • Scottish nationality
  • Friesland
  • European integration


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