Union states, civil society and national symbols in the nineteenth century: Comparing united kingdoms

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Abstract

This article seeks to open up an exploration of the relationship between union, nation and civil society. The two multinational union polities which are used as case studies are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922) and the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway (1814–1905). The article is structured around three discrete but interlinked questions or issues. First, given that the premise of the analysis offered here is the value of comparative approaches, is there in fact a basis for comparing these two united kingdoms? Second, given that the relationship between associational cultures, civil society and the democratic health of a polity has long been debated, should we now also be asking whether the condition of union states was related to the shape of civil society? Lastly, in Gramscian terms civil society is the arena in which consent for the hegemony of the dominant class is achieved: any reflection on the formation of consent raises the issue of union (or supranational) symbolism and national symbolism within civil society in different types of union state.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavica - An International Journal of Scandinavian Studies
Volume58
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • union
  • nation
  • civil society
  • Britain
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Sweden

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