Civic Nationalism: An imagological analysis of the transformations within twentieth century Scottish nationalism
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This study investigates the transformations that took place within Scottish nationalism over the course of the twentieth century. An argument is made that the field of imagology, including its textbook ‘Imagology’, has entrenched a one-sided and oppositional conceptualisation of nationalism characterised by regressive ethnocentrism. In response, this study examines the extent to which Scottish nationalism constitutes a real-world example of civic nationalism. Civic nationalism is operationalised by four ‘pillars’: Inclusive politics, liberal values, civic values, and a modernising narrative. Three cases are investigated: an assessment of mid-nineteenth century nationalism, to act as a comparison device; a critical historiography of the twentieth century Scottish nationalism scholarship, to identify stereotype construction within academia; and an analysis of primary Scottish National Party (SNP) election propaganda materials, that compares all three cases. It is found that the 1850s and 1860s Fenians were entirely characterised by ethnocentrism, whereas in contrast, the 1870s and 1880s Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) gradually transformed into a constitutional, civic nationalist movement. The Scottish nationalism scholarship articulates two prominent and recurrent stereotypes about Scotland: Scotland as small, distant, and peripheral; and the Scots as patriotic and post-nationalist. Additionally, the SNP’s 1967 Hamilton by-election victory is identified as a critical juncture. An analysis of the SNP materials found that the party’s nationalist narrative transformed from liberal and sub-supranationalist in the late-1940s and the 1950s, to a regressive and ethnocentric form in the 1960s, to become characterised by all four pillars of civic nationalism after 1970. Concluding that mid-1970s Scottish nationalism constitutes a real-world example of civic nationalism, the study concludes that ‘Imagology’ should have offered a more substantive and reflective exploration of civic nationalism. Consequently, future scholars are encouraged to employ civic nationalism as an analytical tool.