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Democratic nationalism: Scotland between United Kingdom and World Society

Philipp Rückheim, PhD project

Contemporary world society is increasingly diverse. This diagnosis accounts even for nationalism. There are not only the many variants of populist or autocratic nationalisms but we witness also Scotland's democratic nationalism. My dissertation project substantiates this thesis, i.e. that there is a democratic nationalism in contemporary world society, by studying Scottish nationalism as the paradigmatic case of democratic nationalism.

Using sociological theory three perspectives are in focus: I) Everyday communication for and against Scotland’s national self-determination; II) expectations and self-descriptions of Scottish nationalism; III) causal mechanisms explaining when and how it became a probable democratic nationalism.

The project starts with 1) the long durée of national self-determination within world society. Delineating the Scottish nationalism historically the project follows up with 2) what is argued for and 3) against Scotland’s independence.

It further elaborates social structures of Scotland’s quest for national self-determination: 4) how is national inclusion and exclusion defined; 5) what is expected from good politics; 6) since when and by what distinctions describe many people living in Scotland themselves as a nation?

Finally, I endeavour four causal mechanisms of this democratic nationalism: 7) values of equality; 8) responsivity of religion; 9) symbols of unification; 10) Celtic ethnicity.

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