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Scottish Nationalism and the Idea of Europe: concepts of Europe and the nation

Atsuko Ichijo
Routledge (5 July 2004)

'Independence in Europe', adopted by the Scottish National Party (SNP) as its core policy in 1968, has become part and parcel of contemporary Scottish nationalism. But is this not a contradiction in terms? Nationalistic logic dictates that one cannot demand independence while accepting the constraints that come with membership of the European Union. This book takes up that question and explores the conditions that have emerged and become integrated with Scottish society today.

In this innovative study, Atsuko Ichijo argues that the idea of independence in Europe acquired coherence because of two factors: first, there are a variety of images of Europe that the people from that continent have developed over millennia; second, there is a large depository of images of Scotland that the people of Scotland have cultivated over centuries. The diversity of images available has made it possible for contemporary Scots to pick and choose the images of Scotland and Europe that reflect their aspirations and hence to create a coherent world-view.

Scottish Nationalism and the Idea of Europe offers fresh insight into the 'pro-European' dimension of Scottish nationalism and its implications for the UK. The book also argues for the necessity of examining the uses of history in seeking to understand the 'new' nationalisms of contemporary Europe.

Atsuko Ichijo is research project officer working on a European Commission funded international research project, EURONAT, at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She was awarded the first ever PhD in Nationalism and Ethnicity by the University of London, and this book is based on her doctoral thesis. 

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