Magazine article Marketing

Nationalism - a Big Issue for the UK?

Magazine article Marketing

Nationalism - a Big Issue for the UK?

Article excerpt

Recent weeks have seen "nationalism" in various guises propelled to the top of the media agenda. At a world level, conflict in Yugoslavia, crisis in the Soviet Union and negotiations in Madrid revolve around questions of nation and statehood. In Europe, discord between the Flemish and Walloon communities is threatening the stability of Belgium. At home the awkward questions about Britain's place within an unified Europe and the implied loss of sovereignty have resurfaced. In Scotland, the SNP is talking more confidently than for many years about prospects for autonomy. At the risk of understatement, nationalism is a big issue for the 90s.

As far as the UK's position in Europe is concerned, we do not subscribe to the view that the average consumer is as worried about the potential loss of national identity as politicians on the Conservative right of would like to believe.

Perhaps inevitably, MPs generally over-estimate popular interest in, respect for and concern about the Mother of Parliaments. We do believe that at the margin a variety of developments -- rising affluence, increased propensity for travel, telecommunications' capabilities for example--will serve to reduce the differences between national and regional groups in behavioural, if not aspirational, terms. Nonetheless, there is ample evidence for believing that concepts of nationhood will endure regardless of the ultimate form of the EC.

Perhaps a clue to why this is so is provided by analysis at a highly disaggregated level. …

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