Varieties of Nationalism in Scotland and England

Anthony Heath and Shawna Smith

in Anglo-Scottish Relations, from 1900 to Devolution and Beyond

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263310
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734144 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Varieties of Nationalism in Scotland and England

Show Summary Details


This chapter shows that there is an inevitable asymmetry in the very nature and character of Scottish and English nationalism. In particular, it tries to examine the nature of unionism and nationalism in Scotland and England and the prospects for the union. Minority nationalism is the nationalism of politically subordinate groups that seek statehood. The chapter first explores three different aspects of nationalism, namely emotional attachments to Britain, perceptions of conflicts of interest between England and Scotland and constitutional preferences. It gets very different impressions of relations between England and Scotland depending on whether constitutional preferences, affective attachments or perceptions of national interest are considered. The data indicate that, whereas amongst older respondents higher education was linked with unionism, amongst the young it was accompanied by disengagement. The character and behaviour of unionists, nationalists, potential nationalists and disengaged post-nationalists, and the implications for relations between the two countries are elaborated. It is suspected that parties like the Referendum Party in 2001 and currently the UK Independence Party are the most likely to harness the potential for English nationalism and to direct it against Europe rather than against Scotland.

Keywords: Scottish nationalism; English nationalism; Scotland; Britain; unionism; unionists; nationalists; potential nationalists; disengaged post-nationalists

Chapter.  7425 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.