The Politics of Patriotism: The Unexplored Link between Policy, Patriotism, and Public Opinion

Paper Prepared for Presentation at the WZB National Identity in Motion Conference, Berlin, Germany, 8/31/2015 - 9/1/2015

20 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2015

See all articles by Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

American University; American University - School of Public Affairs

Tim Reeskens

Tilburg University

Date Written: August 27, 2015

Abstract

Empirically-oriented students of national identity have in general concerned themselves with its dimensionality and its attitudinal correlates. We develop an account of patriotism that contextualizes it in the context of national politics. The intuition behind our Politics-Pride-Public Opinion (PPP) model is simply that patriotism is not some sui generis latent attitude that leads people to think in certain ways about politics. Rather, it represents a kind of buy-in to a nation’s political culture, and its consequences depend on how elites have shaped that culture using policy and rhetoric. We test these dynamics empirically in two policy areas: the extent of a nation’s political “multiculturalism”, and its welfare generosity. The PPP model finds substantial support in the former case, but not in the latter.

Keywords: national identity, patriotism, multiculturalism, resdistribution, public opinion, Europe

Suggested Citation

Wright, Matthew and Reeskens, Tim, The Politics of Patriotism: The Unexplored Link between Policy, Patriotism, and Public Opinion (August 27, 2015). Paper Prepared for Presentation at the WZB National Identity in Motion Conference, Berlin, Germany, 8/31/2015 - 9/1/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2652305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2652305

Matthew Wright (Contact Author)

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

Tim Reeskens

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

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