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
Date Written: August 27, 2015
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
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