Does National Identification Always Lead to Chauvinism? A Cross-national Analysis of Contextual Explanations

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This study examines the premise that national identification inevitably leads citizens to endorse chauvinism in the international arena. It argues that the relationship between national identification and chauvinism is affected by three contextual factors: globalization, inter-state conflict, and social division. A multilevel analysis of cross-national survey data from the International Social Survey Program National Identity II (2003) was employed in order to observe these three contextual effects, the sample consisting of 33 countries. The results demonstrate that closer relations exist between national identification and chauvinism in more globalized countries. The effects of inter-state conflict vary according to the indices used to measure conflict. Those countries that experienced a large number of deaths during the 2000s and mobilized resources and personnel evinced a higher level of chauvinism. This effect is not evidenced by other measures of conflict, however. Social division did not affect the level of chauvinism or its relation with national identification. These findings are used to critically evaluate the notion that citizens who identify with their nation tend to be nationally chauvinistic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-395
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2016


  • chauvinism
  • conflict
  • globalization
  • national identity
  • social-identity theory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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