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Securing disunion: Young people’s nationalism, identities and (in)securities in the campaign for an independent Scotland

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kate Botterill, Professor Peter Hopkins

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

This paper explores ethnic and religious minority youth perspectives of security and nationalism in Scotland during the independence campaign in 2014. We discuss how young people co-construct narratives of Scottish nationalism alongside minority ethnic and faith identities in order to feel secure. By critically combining literatures from feminist geopolitics, international relations (IR) and children’s emotional geographies, we employ the concept of ‘ontological security’. The paper departs from state-centric approaches to security to explore the relational entanglements between geopolitical discourses and the ontological security of young people living through a moment of political change. We examine how everyday encounters with difference can reflect broader geopolitical narratives of security and insecurity, which subsequently trouble notions of ‘multicultural nationalism’ in Scotland and demonstrate ways that youth ‘securitize the self’ (Kinnvall, 2004). The paper responds to calls for empirical analyses of youth perspectives on nationalism and security (Benwell, 2016) and on the nexus between security and emotional subjectivity in critical geopolitics (Pain, 2009; Shaw et al., 2014). Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this paper draws on focus group and interview data from 382 ethnic and religious minority young people in Scotland collected over the 12-month period of the campaign.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Botterill K, Hopkins P, Sanghera G, Arshad R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Political Geography

Year: 2016

Volume: 55

Pages: 124-134

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 20/09/2016

Acceptance date: 04/09/2016

Date deposited: 05/09/2016

ISSN (print): 0962-6298

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5096

Publisher: Pergamon Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.09.002

DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.09.002


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