Christian Schnaudt, Stefanie Walter, Sebastian Adrian Popa
Subnational and National Territorial Identification

Pp. 63-92 in: Bettina Westle, Paolo Segatti (Eds.): European Identity in the Context of National Identity: Questions of Identity in Sixteen European Countries in the Wake of the Financial Crisis. 2016. Oxford: Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses citizens’ identification with local, regional, and national levels. It asks whether these identifications constitute a multidimensional construct, indicating exclusive identifications, or a single unidimensional phenomenon, reflecting multiple identifications. To the extent that multiple identifications exist, it investigates whether these reflect a bottom-up or a top-down logic of identity construction. The results for the full national samples of the countries studied suggest that territorial identification represents a single unidimensional construct (with no clear internal order). When focusing on citizens from countries known for conflicts between the regional and the national level, the results hint at the presence of exclusive subnational identifications. Overall, the results establish positive news for modern democracies, as identifications with different territorial loci coexist. In some regions, however, national governments may find it difficult to implement important policies in light of exclusive subnational identifications, which appear to be at odds with a national identification.