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Nationalism, party political discourse and Scottish independence: comparing discursive visions of Scotland's constitutional status

Nations and Nationalism

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--- - |2 Abstract This article critically examines the predominant narratives which emanated from party political discourse in relation to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Utilising a methodological approach centring on political discourse analysis (Fairclough and Fairclough 2012), this paper analyses party manifestos and constitutional policy documents produced by the three largest political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament, namely, the pro‐independence Scottish National Party, and two pro‐union parties, Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. The emergent discourse of each party is interrogated by drawing upon pertinent theoretical concepts from previous academic analyses of Scottish nationalism, with particular attention given to those which have deployed modernist and ethnosymbolist theoretical approaches when analysing the Scottish context. This facilitates a critical reflection on the contrasting and nuanced narratives of the Scottish nation's past and future espoused by each political party vis‐à‐vis modernist and ethnosymbolist theory, illustrating the ways in which contrasting theorisations of nationalism are empirically tangible within political discourse and are thus not simply theoretical abstractions. - 'Nations and Nationalism, Volume 25, Issue 4, Page 1212-1237, October 2019. '