Class, Sector and Nation: Support for Minority Nationalism Among Peak Interest Groups in Four Western European Countries

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The relationship between class and nationality has been a contentious one in the social sciences. Efforts to reduce one to the other have never succeeded. Rather, they interact in complex ways. In contemporary Europe, nationalist movements have revived in some wealthy regions, in what is sometimes seen as a ‘revolt of the rich’, an effort to promote territorial self-interest. If this were so, we would expect representatives of the main economic interests to support secession. A study of business and trade unions in Scotland, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Flanders and Lombardy, however, shows that both are cross-pressured. Nation-builders seek to build cross-class coalitions of support, but both business and trade unions retain strong ties to the existing states, producing different outcomes in each case.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)322-337
Number of pages15
JournalTerritory, Politics, Governance
Issue number3
Early online date6 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Europe
  • national identity
  • nationalism
  • new regionalism
  • politics

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