Elias Dinas – European University Institute

FLAG IT UP: THE BACKLASH EFFECT OF SECESSIONIST NATIONALISM

How do secessionist campaigns by out-groups affect nationalism among the in-group? Evidence from social psychology has shown that evidencing an outgroup’s difference in opinion towards the in-group makes individuals hold closer to the opinion of the in-group. Following this literature, we argue that nationalist among individuals who are not part of the secessionist movement. We test this evidence with secessionism can have a backlash effect, increasing nationalist feelings resource to data from the referendum on Catalonian independence that took place in October 1st 2017. We test its effect using flags displayed in the façade of buildings as a measure of nationalism and estimating a difference-in-differences design that compares the Madrid (treatment group) to Athens (control group). Data collection is underway, but we expect the referendum on Catalonian independence to have had a backlash effect, causing an increase in public displays of nationalism among Spanish citizens.



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