2016 N&N Debate: Understanding National Identity (David McCrone and Frank Bechhofer)

Date(s) - 09/11/2016
17:00 - 18:30

Clement House (CLM 3.02), London School of Economics

2016 Debate

The annual Nations and Nationalism Debate takes up recent major works in nationalism studies and considers their contribution to the field through a critical discussion between author and commentator.

This years Nations and Nationalism debate examines Understanding National Identity by David McCrone and Frank Bechhofer, a methodologically innovative and empirically rich book that explores the many things national identity means – and sometimes doesn’t mean – to people. In light of Brexit, the ongoing refugee crisis, and the 2014 Scottish Referendum, their book reminds us that whilst national identity may be returning with a vengeance, it was never really far from sight in the first place.

The authors will be joined on the discussion panel by Jon Fox (University of Bristol), who examines methodological issues suggested in the volume, particularly in reference to studying the everyday, and Arthur Aughey (University of Ulster), who considers the linkage between national identity and political behaviour within a broader context of the UK constitution in 2016. The event is chaired by Atsuko Ichijo (University of Kingston).

Questions for consideration by the panel include: Does national identity really matter to people? How does ‘national identity’ differ from ‘nationality’ and having a passport? Are there particular people and places which have ambiguous or contested national identities? What happens if someone makes a claim to a national identity? On what basis do others accept or reject the claim? Does national identity have much internal substance, or is it simply about defending group boundaries? How does national identity relate to politics and constitutional change?

No pre-registration required. For further information, please contact nations@lse.ac.uk.

This event will take place at 18.00 on 9 November 2016 in room CLM 3.02, Clement House, Aldwych, LSE. A map featuring the location of the venue can be found here.

This event is co-sponsored Cambridge University Press.