School of Social and Political Science

Nationalism and political action


Nationalism, national identities and political sociology

Our work in this area includes the study of nationalism and national identities from contemporary, comparative and historical perspectives, as well as political sociology encompassing diverse issues and global locales such as:

  • sectarianism in Scotland
  • citizenship in China, Kosovo and North Cyprus
  • Dalit and feminist politics in India
  • elite policy-making networks in Latin America

We convene the Masters (MSc) programme in Nationalism Studies; hold the current presidency (Hearn) of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN); and play a leading role in the University's Citizens, Nations and Migration Network.

Colleagues in this cluster researched aspects of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. For example, Gorringe, Jamieson and Rosie's qualitative study found nuanced understandings of nationalism amongst young Yes voters. 

Govinda led a UK-India Educational Research-funded project on doing feminism in the academy, in a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Ambedkar University, Delhi. 

Connected to her work on citizenship in China, Woodman recently completed 'Bright Futures', an ESRC-funded study on the mobility of Chinese Higher Education students. The findings about the rewards and challenges of studying abroad are informing students, educators and policy makers as they plan for the future. 

Research staff
Relevant publications

Some of our key publications are listed below. For more detailed lists please visit our personal pages on People.

Ross Bond (2017) ‘Sub-state national identities among minority groups in Britain: a comparative analysis of 2011 Census data’, Nations and Nationalism, 23 (3): 524-546.

Hugo Gorringe (2017) Panthers in Parliament: Dalits, Caste and Political Power in South India. New Delhi: OUP.

Radhika Govinda (2017) 'Different Dalit Women Speak Differently: Unravelling through an Intersectional Lens, Narratives of Agency and Activism from Everyday Life in Rural Uttar Pradesh', in S. Anandhi and K. Kapadia (eds.), Dalit Women: Vanguard Of An Alternative Politics In India, New Delhi: Routledge

Jonathan Hearn (2018) How to Read The Wealth of Nations (or Why the Division of Labor Is More Important Than Competition in Adam Smith). Sociological Theory, 36(2), pp.162–184.

James Kennedy (2013) Liberal Nationalisms: Empire, State, and Civil Society in Scotland and Quebec, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

Gezim Krasniqi (forthcoming) Albanian Nationalism(s) and Power Struggles in Kosovo: The Rise of a Polycentric Nation. Palgrave Macmillan.

Liliana Riga (2016) Ethnicity, class and the social sources of US exceptionalism in Global Powers: Michael Mann's Anatomy of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (ed R. Schroeder): Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Michael Rosie (with Maddie Breeze, Hugo Gorringe and Lynn Jamieson) (2017) Becoming independent: political participation and youth transitions in the Scottish referendum. The British Journal of Sociology68(4), pp.754-774.

Tod Van Gunten (2015) Cohesion, consensus, and conflict: Technocratic elites and financial crisis in Mexico and Argentina. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 56(5), pp.366–390

Sophia Woodman (editor, with Zhonghua Guo) (2018) Practicing Citizenship in Contemporary China. London: Routledge.


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