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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

Recent research has questioned the traditional assumption that populations inevitably rally round their national leaders in times of war and suggested instead that whether this occurs depends upon political communication and mass media coverage. In this study, we provide systematic analysis of the debate in Scotland over the invasion of Iraq in 2003. We examine how the conflict was construed as either for or against the national interest, and how the way this is done is linked to different dimensions of context. First, we provide a mixed-methods analysis of debates in the Scottish Parliament. We show that anti-war speakers from Scottish separatist parties map opposition to the war onto a series of collectively consistent and temporarily flexible categorical oppositions, starting with a familiar antinomy between Scottish people and British rulers (before the invasion), and then shifting to broader oppositions between subjugated people and imperial powers (after the invasion). By contrast, speakers from other parties appear less consistent and less flexible in the nature of their arguments. Second, we examine the opinions of a population sample on the war, how these opinions relate to understandings of Scottish identity and how the media context is pivotal in the translation of anti-war opinions into votes for separatist/anti-war political parties.


Background

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

Many social scientists have noted that outbreaks of war are typically periods where populations tend to rally more easily round their government as a symbol of the nation. An early and resolute advocate of this view was Nelson Polsby who argued that wars ‘invariably’ increased the popularity of US Presidents ‘regardless of the wisdom of the policies he pursued’ (Polsby, 1964; p. 25). Subsequent and more systematic time-series analyses of monthly polling data seemed to support this hypothesis: Mueller (1970) and Kernell (1978) both found empirical evidence of short-lived increases in presidential support at the outbreak of international crises.

However, the consensus about rally effects was shaken by the work of Baker and Oneal (2001). Using a broader set of variables and more flexible analytic techniques, they challenged the view that US incumbents always gain popularity in wartime. Lai and Reiter (2005) produced similar results from the United Kingdom. While there may have been strong rally effects around the Falkland and Gulf War, there were no such rallies in the case of the Korean, Suez, and Kosovo wars as well as for other, non-violent crises in which Britain was involved.

What is more, even within the United Kingdom, there may be major variations in the extent to which people rally to the cause of war. While there was as huge rally effect throughout the United Kingdom during the invasion of Iraq in March and April 2003 (Lewis, 2004; Rallings & Thrasher, 2004), Scottish elections on 1 May 2003 resulted in a loss of six seats for the ruling Labour Party and an overall net gain of five seats for Scottish separatist parties that took a position against the invasion. Moreover, this discrepancy between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom in public opinion towards the war endured for years afterwards.1

So, what determines whether, when and where rally effects do (or do not) occur? Baker and Oneal (2001) suggest that it comes down to the nature of political communication and the ability of incumbents to command the media agenda. Lai and Reiter propose that ‘[R]allies seem most likely and largest after the nation has been clearly attacked or challenged and when vital national values are at stake’. Importantly, although, they continue by admitting that ‘it is difficult to delineate uncontroversially what is and is not the national interest’ (Lai & Reiter, 2005, p. 266). Hence, it is possible to combine the two approaches and argue that rally effects depend upon political debates concerning the relationship between war and the nation. That is, rallies will occur when incumbents prevail over their opposition and succeed in presenting war policies as an expression of the national interest. Conversely, rallies will fail when oppositions prevail over incumbents and succeed in presenting war policies as either alien to or else unassociated with the national interest.

This, of course, simply raises the question of what determines who prevails in debate. Many factors will be involved, not least who has access to or control over the means of communication. Our focus, however, lies more on the relationship between the contents and the contexts of political communication, than on its media coverage or scope of dissemination. We root our argument in a growing literature which suggests that the ability to achieve influence and to mobilize popular support is a process of social identity management whereby speakers present themselves as being of the group and acting for the group (e.g., Augustinos & De Garis, 2012; Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011; Klein & Licata, 2003; Reicher, Cassidy, Wolpert, Hopkins, & Levine, 2006; Reicher & Hopkins, 1996, 2001). Leaders, that is, should be seen as entrepreneurs of identity’ (Reicher & Hopkins, 2001).

In common with the basic assumptions of social identity and self-categorization approaches, we suggest that the ways in which people adopt and define social identities are tied to social context (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987). However, in line with the identity management approach, we see ‘context’ as something which is not self-evident or directly imposed, but rather as something which is also actively constructed and whose consequences can handled, or at least inflected, by collective action. Accordingly, to be effective, those who seek to mobilize or consolidate support need to construe context or adapt their proposals so as to make them more ‘fitting’. In other words, the management of context is a key feature of identity entrepreneurship. As we will develop, members of the political elite can (attempt to) manage the contexts of their speeches through a variety of strategies: by reshaping facets of context over which they do have some control (e.g., by drawing selective attention to particular contextual knowledge available within their audience, or by coordinating rhetoric strategies among political allies so that each single speech appears consistent on the backdrop created by other speeches) and by adapting their rhetoric to facets of contexts beyond their control (e.g., by reframing non-essential arguments when the external course of events changes, or by incorporating specific associations or connotations that are rendered particularly salient or plausible by concurrent public debate or mass media coverage).

Our central concern in this study is to examine this proposition in relation to the question of rally effects. That is, we aim to show how the debate over whether to support or oppose a war, and whether the war is consonant with (or else dissonant to) the national interest, is linked to the construal of the specific context in which the debate occurs. To this end, we present an analysis of the controversy in Scotland surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We address the issue from two perspectives. First, we look at the way that political elites, during debates about the invasion in the Scottish Parliament, either adapted their rhetoric to the wider context of these debates or actively reconstrued this context. Second, we look at the way in which a representative population sample responded to the invasion as a function of the context of reception. Before we go on to describe these studies in more detail, however, it is necessary to be more explicit about the way in which we understand the term context and the various ways in which category constructions can be contextualized.

Four dimensions of context

We address four different aspects of context in our analysis which we refer to as narrative context, argumentative context, chronological context and receptive context.

Narrative context: the relationship between category constructions and systems of knowledge which are chronically available to the intended audience

The relationship between political elites and their audiences does not occur in social and historical vacuum. The wordings or metaphors which allow condensing a political position or appealing to common values are embedded in a broader context of chronically accessible phrases and symbols. The way national history is taught in schools, the cultural icons of nationhood, the celebrations of national events, even the monuments to national heroes, all bear upon the way in which speakers are able to construct nationhood (Reicher & Hopkins, 2001). The narrative context hence concerns the way in which texts are able to draw upon broadly shared understandings of the social world to anchor their approach to the specific issue of debate (Moscovici, 1961/2008). One example might be the way that the first Gulf war of 1990 was construed as the fight of the civilized world against one demonic tyrant (the so called ‘new world order’ rhetoric of George Bush senior) by anchoring it in World War 2. This was achieved in many ways, some direct and some more subtle such as photos of Saddam Hussein which trimmed down his moustache to look more like Hitler's (see Herrera & Reicher, 1998). Our emphasis here has to do with the contextual availability of widely disseminated and well-understood narratives of war and of the nation which can be used to make sense of contemporaneous events, to establish either that conflict does or does not serve the country.

Argumentative context: the relationship between any single contribution and the overall body of contributions in a debate

It is important to address not only how category constructions relate to systems of knowledge accessible to the intended audiences but also how they relate to what political allies and rivals communicate concurrently on the same issue. The argumentative context hence concerns the tripolar relationship by which any given contribution to the debate refers to other contributions. Consistency among ruling elites or epistemic authorities (Bar-Tal, 2004) is pivotal to the transformation of individual opinions into social facts. It is even more important for those who are contesting a dominant consensus category constructions to converge to a collective point of view, which consistently addresses or contests the rival points of view (Mugny, 1982). One would expect such minorities to spend particular rhetorical effort in making explicit and contesting the terms of debate.

Chronological context: the relationship between category constructions and the constraints imposed by a changing course of external events

At the same time as category constructions need to be consistent, speakers also need to avoid being seen as rigid especially in response to the unfolding nature of events under consideration. The world is never static. War, in particular, characteristically involves rapid and significant change. Hence, chronological flexibility is particularly important in the way that war is represented. Perhaps the most obvious shift occurs from before to after the outbreak of hostilities – when a ‘phony way’ turns into a ‘shooting war’. At this point the interests of the nation characteristically become concretized in the interests of the troops and any critical argument which can be portrayed as undermining or endangering these troops becomes particularly risky (Baker & Oneal, 2001; Lai & Reiter, 2005). For this reason, we would again expect flexibility to be particularly important in the case of opposition rhetoric.

Receptive context: the relationship between category constructions and other interpretations brought simultaneously to the audience through other channels of communication –, notably via the mass media

Elite constructions do not exhaust the field of communication, especially when it comes to important events such as a war. Audiences navigate through a rich and complex set of voices and the likelihood of any one voice (e.g., political leadership) being heard depends upon the extent to which it is corroborated by the other voices to which individuals are exposed. The people one talks to, the television programmes one watches and the paper which one reads all frame the reception of what the politician says. There are two important senses in which this dimension of context differs from the others that we have outlined. First, unlike the other three which have to do with what happens within the political debate, this fourth dimension has to do with (and must be studied from) the perspective of audience members. Second, the importance of these other voices, particular mass media voices, is that we know them to be heard by many people and hence they do not only tell us what to think but also tell us what type of knowledge other people like ourselves (who read the same papers and watch the same programmes) have access to. In other words, they communicate common references and social norms as well as opinions. It is this normative aspect which may be particularly important in framing how we act in relation to the topic of concern (Elcheroth, Doise, & Reicher, 2011; Paluck, 2009). To be more concrete, the step from holding anti-war opinions to acting against the war depends upon information indicating that ones viewpoint is shared, or at least shareable.

Background to the case study

As we have indicated, our analysis addresses the relationship between war debates and these four dimensions of context through a study of Scottish responses to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. There are two reasons on choosing Scotland for our case study. First, as mentioned above, opposition to the invasion was more prevalent in Scotland than elsewhere in the United Kingdom and hence it was possible to conduct a more balanced analysis of pro- and anti-war positions in the debate. Second, nationhood is more troubled and contested in Scotland – a situation reflected at the structural level in the shifting constitutional settlement between Scotland and England. Since the set up of a devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the devolved settlement is adequate,2 whether the parliament should have greater powers or whether there should be full independence. Furthermore, if the issue of how Scottishness relates to Britishness is at the top of the political agenda, it is equally salient at a psychological level (Sindic & Reicher, 2009). If one is to rally round a flag, should it be the (Scottish) Saltire or the Union Jack? Should they cheer their athletes as part of a British team (as at the Olympic Games) or as part of a Scottish team (as at the Commonwealth Games)? As Rutland, Cinnirella, and Simpson (2008) have pointed out, both categories are chronically available. This makes Scotland a particularly promising place in which to examine how national categories are construed and how these are used to argue for or against war.

We provide systematic analyses of how the Iraq invasion of 2003 was understood in Scotland, respectively, by elites and by the overall population. The first part includes all the contributions to four Scottish parliamentary debates about the Gulf War which occurred between January 2003 and June 2004 – a total of 106 interventions, defined as the full contribution of one individual member of parliament to one of the four debates. Note that at the time of the 2003 Gulf War, there was a campaign for election to the Scottish Parliament (only the second time people had gone to the polls since the formation of the Assembly).3 This allows us to see how the Gulf debate related to the electoral debate and hence makes particularly clear how wider understandings of the world are invoked in making sense of war.

Each parliamentary intervention was coded for which debate the speech was drawn from; for the party membership of the speaker (and hence whether they were pro-independence or not); for the overall moral argument (or arguments) being made, and for the categorical structure of the conflict (in other words who was against whom in the war). Using Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) we then examined (1) the type of categorical structure that was invoked to support pro- and anti-war positions, and the extent to which these structures were rooted in the broader political culture (i.e., links to narrative context); (2) consistencies and differences between different contributors to the debate (i.e., links to argumentative context); (3) shifts in argument and in categorical structure over the course of events – especially between the pre- and post-invasion debates (i.e., links to chronological context).

In the second part, we turn from elite discourse to popular understandings of the war, to analyse the constituency context of the political speeches. The study is based on data from the Scottish Social Attitude (SSA) survey of 2003. We analyse how anti-war and pro-war respondents express their own nationhood and how the translation of individual anti-war positions into electoral support for the anti-war separatist parties relates to their exposure to mass media sources (i.e., links to receptive context).

In combination, the two parts of the study are so designed that they allow us to see whether and how narrative, argumentative, chronological and receptive contexts structure and/or are restructured by both the production and the reception of Scottish political discourse concerning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Method

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

Corpus

Two major debates concerning the possible war in Iraq occurred in the Scottish parliament before the invasion. The first was on 16 January 2003, when there was still considerable uncertainty regarding whether there would be a war and who would participate. The second debate took place on 13 March 2003, 6 days before the first air strikes on Baghdad. At this point, war (and British combat involvement in the war) was seen as all but inevitable by most observers. We also analysed the first two substantial parliamentary debates that took place after the invasion4 – the one on 20 November 2003 (when George Bush visited the United Kingdom), the other on 2 June 2004 (when the war crimes at Abu Ghraib had become public). The full transcripts of these four debates, which are published in the official records of the parliament, constituted the raw corpus of data for our analyses.

In a preliminary step, these transcripts were read several times by both authors to code for all interventions that included arguments fitting the thematic scope of our analyses.5 In this way, we were able to build an effective corpus of 106 parliamentary interventions, each constituted by the entire contribution of one speaker within one of the four debates (including generally one main speech and possibly small interjections, retorts, or questions addressed to other speakers). Because many individual Members of Scottish Parliament (MSP) participated in more than one debate, these interventions showcase 60 speakers across all parties represented in the parliament (and a few ‘independent’ members as well). The two pre-invasion debates accounted for 68 of the interventions, the shorter two post-invasion debates accounted for the remaining 38.

Thematic coding

To prepare this corpus for both qualitative and quantitative analyses, we conducted two-step hierarchical thematic coding. The first step was aimed at identifying discrete arguments used within the corpus. These were organized into a 2 × 2 grid. The first dimension concerned whether the argument is about the categorical structure of actors (who is against whom) or else the morality of events (whether, and in what way, the war is a good or bad thing). The second dimension concerned whether the argument addressed the domestic significance of the war (‘home front’ arguments) or else its international significance (‘external front’ arguments). Both authors read and discussed the contributions until consensus was reached on the categories and allocation of instances to categories.6

Using the same process of iterative critical discussion between the authors, in a second step the resulting 37 coding categories were reduced to create a set of general arguments. Categorical arguments that could be summarized using a single underlying categorical structure were grouped together. Moral arguments that could be summarized using one generic moral judgment were also grouped together. Furthermore, given the clear-cut controversial structure of the moral debate (each pro-war argument having a corresponding anti-war argument), we generated antinomic pairs of moral judgments.

Mixed-methods analyses

Thematic coding resulted in two types of outcomes that prefigured the two modes of subsequent analysis. First, it produced the structured inventories of arguments that are summarized in Tables 1 and 2 and which serve as a grid for qualitative analyses. These inventories provide an overall template for interpreting the grand-narrative structures spun by war supporters and opponents. Second, coding resulted in a content-analytical database in which the 106 parliamentary interventions (i.e., each representing the entire rhetoric contribution of one MSP to one of the four debates) are treated as cases, and arguments are treated as variables. Categorical statements were dummy coded at the general argument level (present vs. absent within a given intervention). To avoid redundant data structure, the moral statements were coded according to three types of categories: general arguments used by war proponents, corresponding arguments used by war opponents, or neither type of argument.7 Two external variables were added to this database: the date of the debate and the party affiliation of the speaker. Thus, this database is suitable to conduct multiple correspondence analyses (MCA) at the level of parliamentary interventions, based on the joint occurrences of general arguments invoked by the same speaker within the same debate. Such analyses provide important interpretative benchmarks regarding the way the three aforementioned dimensions of context figure across 106 political speeches.

Table 1. A structured inventory of moral arguments: generic moral judgments and nested concrete arguments invoked by the ‘external front’ and the ‘home front’ as well as frequencies before and after the invasion
External frontBeforeAfter External frontBeforeAfter
Self-defence and containment33%4%vs.Undermining a peaceful settlement of the crisis19%5%
WMDs in the hands of a tyrant131 No immediate threat82
Military threat helps diplomacy8  All other means not exhausted14 
Humanitarian intervention16%22%vs.Disproportionate killing23%29%
Rescue a suffering people104 Humanitarian disaster86
More lives saved than lost 2 Selective morality195
Promoting a democratic world order27%52%vs.Destabilizing the international order47%29%
Democracy and peace-building710 Violation of national sovereignty6 
Institutional backing for war102 Undermining the UN and the rule of international law406
War against terror 2 Stimulating terrorism85
Home frontBeforeAfter Home frontBeforeAfter
National loyalty first25%22%vs.Bypassing democratic accountability10%37%
The troops and their commander-in-chief need our support4  No public mandate for war9 
Opponents undermine our nation's leadership84 Beware of blind support2 
No time for debate, too late to step back4  Political deception111
Misjudgement is not deception 2 Perversion of democracy 3
Table 2. A structured inventory of categorical arguments: generic social cleavages and nested concrete arguments invoked by the ‘external front’ and the ‘home front’ as well as frequencies before and after the invasion
External frontBeforeAfter
All vs. Saddam6%6%
Coalition for the Iraqi people53
US–UK vs. Iraq20%16%
War against the Iraqi people173
Army of occupation 5
Western powers vs. the Arab world4%10%
Clash of civilizations in the making35
Home frontBeforeAfter
Democrats vs. autocrats8%6%
Democracy unites us73
Scotland vs. the rest of the UK20%6%
Vulnerable Scotland5 
Shame on the UK4 
Scotland's voice against the war8 
The union and the impediment to a moral policy 3
Communities vs. elites13%34%
Virtuous troops led by immoral politicians24
Undemocratic warlords97
Tough towards the weak, weak towards the powerful 3
International capitalism, the grounds for violence 3
People of the world vs. US and UK state powers29%22%
US unilateral superpower policies146
Fatal alliance with the US105

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

We present our analysis of the results in such a way as to clarify the relationship between the structure of arguments in the debate and the three aspects of context which we have highlighted – to recap, narrative, argumentative and chronological context.

Narrative context

As we anticipated, there is a clear antinomic structure to these arguments with each argument in favour of conflict being matched by an argument against conflict. The notion that war is necessary self-defence is countered by the argument that it is unnecessary aggression; the notion that war will relieve suffering is countered by the argument that it will destroy lives; the notion that war will create international order is countered by the argument that it will destabilize this order. Altogether, while pro-war speeches refer to a narrative of liberation and unity, anti-war rhetoric builds upon a narrative of aggression and division.

Table 2 presents the range of categorical arguments. The way categorical and moral arguments relate to each other, and the way in which this relationship changes across the debates is the focus of a MCA, the outcome of which is reported in Figure 1.

image

Figure 1. Moral principle positions and the timing of debates (above) as well as social cleavage positions (below) according to their coordinates along two dimensions defined by an MCA of their joint occurrences within parliamentary interventions. Arguments related to the ‘home front’ appear in bold.

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The two dimensions arising from this analysis are easily interpretable. The horizontal dimension (with an eigenvalue of 3.1) represents pro- versus anti-war positions. The vertical dimension represents the time of the debate, from before to after the invasion (with an eigenvalue of 1.7). For ease of interpretation, we have divided the figure into two parts so we can see separately how moral and categorical arguments, respectively, map onto this space.

As can be seen, the pro-war ‘liberation’ morality is associated with an opposition between the world's democrats and (isolated) autocrats, which is subsequently resolved into the whole (democratic) world against a single tyrannical figure, Saddam Hussein. The anti-war ‘aggression’ morality is associated with a division of the world into dominant and subordinate groups: at the start of the debate, English warmongers dragging the Scots into conflict; later, social elites against ordinary people; or, a hegemonic US/British West against Eastern/Arabic peoples.

To summarize, the pro-war discourse draws upon the ‘new world order’ narrative which has been prevalent since the first Gulf war and which in turn draws upon anti-Nazi narratives: the entire civilized world against one mad dictator. The anti-war discourse draws upon the notion of a more aggressive England imposing its will upon the communal Scots within the political structures of the United Kingdom – a narrative which has become commonplace within Scottish political discourse (Reicher & Hopkins, 2001). In other words the anti- as well as the pro-camp are anchored in what are legitimate and mainstream constructions.

Argumentative context

There are two further aspects of the findings which speak to the relationships between the constructions of one camp and those of the other, and also the relationships between constructions within the same camp.

First, as well as showing differences in structure between pro- and anti-war speakers, our data also point to differences in the amount of rhetorical effort they devote to different tasks. Opponents of the war spend more time than supporters in sustaining their categorical constructions. They generate more arguments in favour of these definitions and also more instances of each argument. Thus, 86% of the category arguments made before the invasion – and 88% afterwards – are made by anti-war speakers. What is more, the ratio of categorical arguments to moral arguments is 4.33:1 for those against the war and 0.44:1 for those in favour of the war.

Second, further analyses were conducted to assess the collective consistency across contributions stemming from those in the same political party or else sharing the same broad political outlook. To this end, all 106 interventions were located along the two aforementioned dimensions (pro- vs. anti-war and time) and identified by the party affiliation of the speaker. The contrast between separatist and unionist parties revealed by Figure 2 is striking. Every single intervention by a speaker from one of the three parties having Scottish independence on their agenda (Scottish National Party, Scottish Socialist Party, Scottish Green Party) takes an anti-war stance. Not one intervention deviates from the message that an independent Scotland goes hand in hand with opposition to the invasion of Iraq. In contrast, the unionist camp is profoundly divided in the debates, both between and within parties. The gap across the three parties is substantial; although conservative members are the strongest supporters of the invasion, most liberal democrats lean towards an anti-war position. Furthermore, members of the ruling Labour Party alone cover the full spectrum of these positions in the debate, from the purest pro-invasion stance (on the left of the graph) to a marked anti-invasion view (on the right).

image

Figure 2. The positions of individual interventions (marked by party affiliation) according to their coordinates along two dimensions defined by the MCA (see Figure 1) of the joint occurrences of moral principles, social cleavages and the timing of debates. Interventions from members of separatist parties appear as filled grey triangles.

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Chronological context

One of the clearest things to emerge from the MCA (see Figure 1) is the shift in category constructions that occurs from before the invasion to when the invasion is imminent and after the invasion. More precisely, there is a clear evolution in the anti-war camp where, pre-invasion, the argument is organized around the Scotland-England division. Later, it shifts to a series of other divisions, all based on the opposition between the powerless and the powerful. To get more insight into the meaning of these shifts, it is helpful to consider three extracts from the parliamentary debates. These are chosen from our coding categories to exemplify differences both between pro- and anti-war camps and also between the pre-invasion and post-invasion phases.

In Extract 1, a conservative MSP presents democracy as a strong binding force among similar-minded people.

Extract 1: Democracy unites us

In a democracy such as ours, all are free to express their thoughts and to live without fear of persecution. Indeed, that is a reason why thousands of asylum seekers—many of whom come from Iraq—have sought shelter on our shores. Oh, if only the situation were the same in their homelands. My platform is based on an acceptance that no democratically elected leader of our nation would act in any way that was detrimental to the principles and objectives of the democracy that we enjoy in the UK and to the overall well-being of our people. Furthermore, I do not believe that such a leader would act against what he considers to be the wider international interest.

(Phill Gallie, Conservative Party, 16 January 2003)

Given that a broad consensus of democratic values is generally assumed, a highly inclusive category is created in this way. The implication is that only isolated individuals who challenge or undermine these values are on the other side. The conservative speaker refers to democracy in the United Kingdom to locate the nation in an international context. He simultaneously makes a domestic argument. The international argument concerns superiority; the fact that many people seek shelter in the United Kingdom is presented as evidence of the widely shared aspiration to live in a democracy. The domestic argument concerns legitimacy: to know that a leader has been ‘democratically elected’ is sufficient to assume that he will faithfully represent the national interest and even the ‘wider international interest’.

Challenging this ‘democracy units us’ line, others argue that there is an authentic division between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. The core of this argument is that the war reveals objective and chronic inequalities that disadvantage the people of Scotland. Importantly, the idea of these inequalities is concretized in the experience of Scottish soldiers. In the 16th January debate, Dorothy-Grace Elder makes the point in graphic terms:

Extract 2: Vulnerable Scotland

As a Glasgow MSP, I could not in conscience contribute to the drumbeats of war that are being stirred up in Westminster by those Dukes of Plaza-Toro who, as usual, will be 4,000 or 5,000 miles behind the front line… The other month I was on a train when a 19-year-old man recognized me as being one of the MSPs who work in his area. He was going to Glencorse barracks… I saw him go off into the morning mist and I thought, ‘Aye—same as in the first and second world wars. Scots troops in first.’

(Dorothy-Grace Elder, Independent Member, 16 January 2003)

The reference to the Duke of Plaza-Toro refers to a poem by William Gilbert which contains the lines: ‘In enterprise of martial kind/When there was any fighting/He led his regiment from behind’. Hence, the extract depicts the war in terms of cowardly (English) warmongers exploiting, as always, ordinary (Scottish) soldiers. It corroborates and it populates our characterization of the counter-hegemonic discourse of the anti-war camp.

Next, consider this extract from the Scottish National Party MSP Margaret Ewing, during the debate of 13th March 2003, just as troops were about to go into action and the point (as can be seen from Figure 2) when the Scottish–English division begins to be supplanted by other constructions of the powerless versus the powerful:

Extract 3: Virtuous troops led by immoral politicians

‘our forces are an integral part of our communities. They are not aliens. They do not live separately from us. They are our friends and neighbours. They live next door. Their children go to our schools. They go to our hospitals.(…) I take offence at those people(…) who say that anyone who votes against an immediate rush to war is in some way not supporting the troops. I would be more convinced if I saw the Government and the Ministry of Defence giving our troops the support that they deserve while they are out there, because some of the stories that come home are horrendous. As legislators, we have a duty and a responsibility to all our service personnel to give them a legal mandate that is agreed internationally without reservations’.

(Margaret Ewing, Scottish National Party, 13 March 2003)

At one level, this is very similar to the previous construction. Much work is put into constituting the troops as ordinary people like you and I in terms of who they are, where they live, what they do. Equally, there is a clear contrast with the pro-war politicians who do not support the troops and whose war is against the troops (and hence our) interests. In this sense, there is a clear continuity between extracts. But there is one obvious difference. There is no mention of Scotland or England or Britain. The troops are not referred to as Scottish troops, they are troops in general. Concern is not for some troops as Scots but for all troops as ordinary people. The government is not referred to as the Westminster government but as the government full stop. Opposition is not to an alien administration but to a powerful administration. So, on one hand this illustrates how, as the invasion becomes imminent, it is important to be seen as supporting all troops and not just the Scots among them but also how the transition to this ‘governments versus ordinary people’ version of the counter-hegemonic narrative has been set up by the previous use of ‘Scots versus English’.

Method

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

Data and sampling

The following findings are based on secondary analyses of the SSA survey data conducted in 2003 by the Scottish Centre for Social Research. These data are based on a probability sample of the Scottish resident population aged 18 and above.8 Most interviews were conducted in May 2003, although some occurred up to September of that year.9

Measures

Stance on the war

Among several items concerning various political issues, respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, ‘Britain was wrong to go to war with Iraq’. Given that the bi-modal distribution of the responses would violate the assumption of normality underlying linear regression analysis, this variable was dummy coded. Respondents who answered ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ were categorized as ‘war opponents’ and dummy coded ‘1’; those who answered ‘disagree’, ‘strongly disagree’ or did not take a stance (i.e., ‘neither agree nor disagree’ or ‘don't know’) were dummy coded ‘0’. The design-weighted frequency of respondents in the former category is 42%, which provides an estimate for the percentage of war opponents in Scotland during the early post-invasion phase. This frequency is only slightly higher (within the margins of the survey error) than the estimated share of war supporters (40%). These figures thus reflect a divided public in the face of war.

Voting behaviour

Voters were able to cast two votes at the parliamentary election: a ‘constituency vote’ for individual candidates and a ‘regional vote’ for party lists at a regional level. Two separate dummy variables were constructed for ‘separatist vote’ and ‘labour vote’. Respondents were coded 1 for separatist vote if they allocated at least one of their two votes to a separatist party (i.e., if they voted for the Scottish National Party, the Scottish Socialist Party, or the Scottish Green Party) and 0 for separatist vote if they gave no vote to any of the three parties (i.e., they did not vote at all, or only for candidates from other parties). Similarly, respondents were coded 1 for ‘Labour vote’ if, and only if, they gave at least one vote to a candidate from the Labour Party. Note that the two variables are not mutually exclusive, as voting for two different parties was possible.10

National identification

Four items, inserted into a larger set of questions on ‘national identity’, addressed the two dimensions of national identification which are of interest to us: level of identification (i.e., ‘Scottish’ vs. ‘British’) and quality of identification (i.e., ‘attachment’ vs. ‘pride’ (positive emotional valency). The precise wording of the items was, ‘How closely attached do you feel to Scotland/Britain as a whole?’ and ‘How proud are you of being Scottish/British?’ The answers to these questions ranged from ‘very closely’ to ‘not at all closely’ and from ‘very proud’ to ‘not at all proud’ respectively. All answers were recorded on 4-point Likert scales such that ‘1’ represented minimal levels and ‘4’ represented maximal levels of expressed attachment/pride.11

Newspaper readership

The only media addressed by the SSA are daily newspapers. Readership was measured by two items: Respondents were asked to indicate up to three newspapers that they read either ‘normally’ or ‘regularly’. For the purposes of this study, we coded the resulting list of newspapers according to their editorial positions on the war in Iraq during the invasion phase (i.e., a systematic anti-war stance vs. any other stance). To obtain a reliable coding, we first conducted secondary analyses of the ‘Iraq War Press Coverage’ database, which provided day-to-day content-analytical data of the major British print media during the invasion phase. These analyses clearly show that the three primary pro-war arguments (threat, humanitarian intervention and regime change) were challenged much more systematically in three newspapers (i.e., ‘Daily Mirror’, ‘The Guardian’, and ‘The Independent’) than in all the other newspapers within the sample. Robertson's (2004) content analysis complemented this by including papers that are only available in Scotland and were not included in the Iraq War Press Coverage database. Robertson showed that ‘The Herald’ distinguished itself among Scottish dailies by articulating a clear anti-war position from the start of the invasion. Respondents were coded as ‘1’ for ‘readers of anti-war newspapers’ if they reported reading at least one of the four aforementioned newspapers and ‘0’ for non-readers. Similarly, respondents were coded as ‘1’ for ‘readers of other newspapers’ if they claimed to be regular readers of one the remaining newspapers (i.e., Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, The Sun, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Scotsman, The Aberdeen Press and Journal, The Courier). The positions of these latter newspapers ranged between ambivalent and clearly pro-war during the invasion period.

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

Receptive context

A first analysis tested whether the way that voters express their identities is related to their stance on the war. The findings reveal a clear and distinctive pattern of national identification among opponents of the war: attachment to Scotland net of pride (and net of identification to Britain), substantially increases the likelihood of holding an anti-war stance. An observed exponential logistic regression coefficient of 1.39 (95% confidence interval ranging from 1.09 to 1.76, p < .01)12 means that the odds of voting for at least one of the three separatist parties increases by more than one and a third for every one-point increase in attachment to Scotland (with all other responses held constant). By contrast, the net effects of Scottish pride (0.68, confidence interval: 0.53–0.88, p < .01) and British attachment (0.81, confidence interval: 0.67–0.98, p < .05) on anti-war stances were both negative, while British pride was not significantly related to stances on the war (0.88, confidence interval: 0.75–1.05).

Further logistic regression models addressed how personal opinions on the war interact with exposure to newspapers holding a certain stance on the war. Most importantly, we were interested in explaining separatist votes with regard to the interplay between personal opinions and newspaper exposure. The upper portion of Table 3 shows that the overall odds of voting for a separatist opposition party were exactly one and a half times higher for war opponents than for those who supported the war or who had no clear opinion (Model 1). The second model shows that the strength of this association does not substantially differ after controlling for the effect of reading an anti-war newspaper, that is, the effect of personal opinion regarding the war is not mediated by the type of newspaper read. However, the strong interaction effect introduced in Model 3 shows that personal opinion is moderated by newspaper exposure. Only among the readership of an anti-war newspaper did personal opinions against the war translate into separatist votes. Finally, Model 4 shows that this pattern holds after controlling for multidimensional national identification, although Scottish attachment and British pride are correlated with separatist voting (in opposite directions). To conclude, these analyses highlight the fact that the newspapers which disseminated anti-war positions played an important role in the mobilization of war opponents in favour of separatist parties. By contrast, further outcomes (not shown here) suggested that reading newspapers that disseminated pro-war or ambivalent positions, did not affect the relationship between anti-war opinions and separatist voting.

Table 3. Multivariate predictors of the separatist opposition (above) versus the Labour majority (below) vote: partial logistic regression coefficients (in exponential form)
 Separatist vote
Model 1Model 2Model 3Model 4
War opponents

1.50**

(1.13 – 1.98)

1.43*

(1.08 – 1.91)

1.23

(0.90 – 1.67)

1.13

(0.82 – 1.55)

Readers of anti-war newspapers

2.08***

(1.39 – 3.10)

1.09

(0.56 – 2.14)

1.15

(0.58 – 2.29)

War opponents x Readers of anti-war newspapers

3.00*

(1.28 – 7.08)

2.81*

(1.17 – 6.75)

Attached to Scotland

1.50**

(1.11 – 2.03)

Proud of being Scottish

1.22

(0.90 – 1.67)

Attached to Britain

0.91

(0.73 – 1.15)

Proud of being British

0.57***

(0.46 – 0.70)

 Labour vote
Model 1Model 2Model 3Model 4
Note
  1. Values significantly higher than 1 indicate a positive relationship between predictor and outcome variables, values significantly lower than 1 a negative relationship, stars indicate p-values (*p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < 0.001) and numbers inserted in brackets provide the boundaries of the 95% confidence interval of the logistic regression coefficient.

War opponents

0.86

(0.65 – 1.14)

0.88

(0.68 – 1.17)

0.42**

(0.26 – 0.69)

0.43*

(0.26 – 0.71)

Readers of other newspapers

1.29

(0.97 – 1.73)

0.82

(0.57 – 1.19)

0.76

(0.52 – 1.10)

War opponents x Readers of other newspapers

3.06***

(1.68 – 5.58)

3.22***

(1.76 – 5.89)

Attached to Scotland

0.96

(0.72 – 1.27)

Proud of being Scottish

1.17

(0.86–1.60)

Attached to Britain

1.25

(0.99–1.56)

Proud of being British

1.09

(0.89 – 1.34)

The lower portion of Table 3 displays equivalent models for voting for the Labour Party in power. Again, the most significant outcome is the strong interaction of personal opinion on the war and media exposure. In this case, reading a newspaper with a supportive or ambivalent stance regarding the war made the critical difference. War opponents who did not read such a newspaper were significantly less likely to vote for the Labour Party. Among the readership of these newspapers, however, the effect became insignificant and was even reversed. Hence, newspapers that disseminated pro-war positions appeared to play a role in the demobilization of war opponents and in all likelihood limited further electoral losses for the ruling Labour Party.

Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References

Elite constructions of war and nation

To summarize the findings from the first part of our study, it is clear that the discourse of the pro- and anti-war camps were constructed around opposed versions of the groups and identities involved in the conflict. The pro-war camp referred to a narrative of liberation in which war was necessary to defend ‘ourselves’ and to alleviate the sufferings of others. The anti-war camp proposed a narrative of aggression in which war was imposed on ‘us’ by others and was to our detriment. In other words, for those in favour, this was ‘our war’, based on our values and advancing our interest. For those against, this was ‘their war’, violating our values and to the detriment of our interest.

Hence, this analysis corroborates previous work which demonstrates the centrality of category constructions in the mobilization rhetoric of political elites (e.g., Haslam et al., 2011; Klein & Licata, 2003; Reicher & Hopkins, 1996, 2001). It also extends this work by showing that the consonance between particular versions of categories (e.g., ‘it is England's war, not ours’) and particular projects of mobilization (e.g., ‘let's stand up against the war’) is not just true of one or two selected speeches, but rather can be seen to be a systematic feature of the debate as a whole. This, in itself, is an important step forward.

This systematic character of our analysis also allows us to move forward in other ways, notably concerning various ways in which rhetoric relates to context. To start with, it can be seen how the arguments of both the pro- and anti-war camps are rooted in well-established common sense ways of viewing the world. Those for the war use a notion of the civilized world fighting an evil dictator which has become particularly powerful since the Second world war, which was certainly central to narratives about the first Gulf War (Herrera & Reicher, 1998) and which is widely disseminated within and beyond the United Kingdom. Those against the war initially rooted their opposition in the notion of Scotland's domination by England within the United Kingdom (and the UK parliament which endorsed the war) and later on, this set up alternative ways of construing ‘our’ domination by the masters of war. The significance of this ‘Scottish versus English’ construction is not only its familiarity and ubiquity (especially during a Scottish election campaign) but also the fact that it is relatively conventional. Thus the anti-war position in Scotland can be anchored in a mainstream view of the world and the nature of the debate is marked by the availability of a respectable way of saying ‘it's not our war’.

But it is not just that such a construction is available. Looking at the argumentative context of the debate, we see, first of all, how much effort anti-war speakers devote to setting up a category system that is congruent with their stance on the war. Some four of five of their arguments are devoted to who is against whom in the conflict (in contrast about one of three arguments only within the pro-war camp). Perhaps this is due to the fact that the ‘official version’ supported by the ruling parties in both Westminster and the Scottish Parliament, by their publicity machines and by the majority of the media take for granted that this is ‘our war’. To challenge their influence, great efforts are necessary to expose and establish an alternative perspective.

Second, we see that these efforts were collective and that they were conducted with great consistency. Every single intervention from a member of a separatist party rooted their argument in the idea that this was ‘not our war’. In the first debate, this stance predominantly translated into ‘England's war, not Scotland's’. Then, in subsequent debates, they all drew on this to sustain other versions of ‘it's their war’. No separatist MSP stepped out of the line, which created a stark contrast to the political cacophony displayed by unionist MSP in general, and by members of the ruling Labour Party in particular.

This takes us to the importance of the changing course of events. While the separatists have been consistent, they certainly were not inflexible. As events changed, as the possibility of war became the near certainty of war and then as troops entered into the firing line, so the precise nature of the anti-war categories changed. Scottish–English gave way to other versions of a bellicose and dominant ‘them’ imposing war upon ‘us’. The important thing about theses shifts, we have argued, is that the earlier division contrasts Scottish soldiers and their families to English (or Welsh or Northern Irish) troops and their families. The latter includes all British (and indeed allied) troops and their families as the ‘poor bloody infantry’ who are as ever traduced by their leaders in war. In making the shift, anti-war proponents cannot be accused of fostering divisions among the troops and thereby endangering them all. They cannot be dismissed as talking irresponsibly and ignoring the new realities of war. By being both consistent (in terms of their overall construction) and flexible (in terms of the precise categories they use), these oppositional politicians apply what have been shown to be the optimal conditions for contesting the dominant viewpoint (Mugny, 1982).

Popular understandings of war and nation

Turning now to the second part of findings, focussing on popular opinion, there are two key findings that we wish to stress. The first is that being anti-war is clearly related to seeing oneself as Scottish. However, it is not just that anti-war respondents feel Scottish, but that they do so without necessarily feeling pride in Scotland. This pattern is akin to what some have dubbed ‘critical attachment’ (Roccas et al., 2006) or ‘constructive patriotism’ (Schatz, Staub, & Levine, 1999). Often, however, critical attachment or patriotism is seen as an individual orientation to the nation. Here, we suggest that it is more a matter of assimilating a prevalent discourse in Scotland, where being critical is part of what it means to be Scottish (see Reicher & Hopkins, 2001). Rather than promoting a stance of ‘my country right or wrong’, the anti-war elites advance a notion of Scots as a less bellicose people who will challenge anything and anybody that violates their values – and hence who challenge the official drive to war. Hence, we can see a correspondence between the anti-war discourse of elites and the understandings of anti-war sections of the population.

The second key finding concerns the role of the press in the relationship between private opinion and political behaviour (in this case voting for anti-war and pro-separatism candidates). From a classic perspective of social influence or cognitive consistency, one would expect that this relationship is in terms of mediation, that is, that those who are anti-war are led to read papers that are in tune with their stance and this in turn engages them so as to vote for anti-war/separatist parties or else that those who read anti-war papers develop anti-war opinions that in turn make them into anti-war/separatist voters.

However, contrary to this common wisdom, we have found no evidence for a mediational relationship. Rather, and less intuitively perhaps, our findings clearly support a moderational relationship. Only those with anti-war opinions who also read anti-war papers are more likely to vote for anti-war/separatist parties. Equally, those with anti-war opinions who read pro-war papers (or papers that are ambivalent about the war), are not less likely to vote for the Labour Party – the party of government which pursued the war. These findings might appear counter-intuitive. However, they are consistent with the position we advocated in the introduction and which is supported by Paluck's (2009) analysis of the role of the mass media in facilitating social behaviours (of conformity or opposition to authorities). That is, the impact of the media lies not so much in changing personal beliefs or deep-ingrained opinions, as in changing the perception of social norms. It is by telling us that our opinions are shared by others – that they are normative – that the media affects what we do.

Conclusion

In this study, we have shown the work done by political elites on rooting their accounts of category interests in various dimensions or context. We have shown in particular how those challenging the status quo are able to draw on a chronically available understanding of Scottish and British interests as opposed, and how they spend more efforts than those defending the status quo in creating an explicit, consistent and flexible definition of the Scottish interest as anti-war. We have also shown that opposition to the war among the population at large is linked to a similar understanding of Scottishness as a critical and questioning relationship to authority.

In the light of these findings, it is possible to account for the convergence between the structure of elite discourse and of popular understandings – which was more evident for the anti-war separatist camps than for the ruling majority – in several ways. While top-down theorists might interpret it as a consequence of effective political mobilization (opinions communicated by elites shape mass opinion and behaviour), advocates of bottom-up approaches would rather emphasis that elites adapt their rhetoric opportunistically to what their audiences want to hear. In all likelihood, there is a part of truth in both positions: part of the described contents of political rhetoric reflects the means of political struggle – to build on the broadest possible consensus and widen popular support (a process Klein, Spears, & Reicher, 2007, refer to as identity consolidation) – and another, intermingled, part reflects the ends of political struggle: to use popular support to push forward a specific agenda, (i.e., identity mobilization as defined by Klein et al.).

Of course, the findings are not yet sufficient to be able to claim a causal relation between elite and popular positions towards war, either way around. For that we would need to manipulate the various uses of context (or information about it), and examine their impact on either the reception or the construction of political discourse. But, equally obviously, there would be little use in conducting experimental studies of the effects of context, if such uses of context were absent from what politicians actually say. Nor would such studies be of help to us if there was no relation between elite and popular discourse in the field.

In effect, then, we establish here the conditions that make subsequent causal investigation worthwhile. Using innovative methods to provide a systematic analysis of the rhetorical structure of an extended social debate, we set out to investigate whether the management of context is an important element of identity entrepreneurship surrounding war. We have shown that it is (and how it is), especially for those contesting the prevailing consensus. We also set out to establish whether there is a relationship between the constructions of politicians and the positions of the population concerning the war, and whether this is dependent on the context of reception. Again, we have shown that there is such a relationship and that it is moderated by the mass media to which individuals (and, by inference, their peers) are exposed.

Footnotes
  1. 1

    Our analyses of the British General Election Studies of 2005 show, at this date, that 43% of the Scottish electorate considered themselves ‘disgusted’ by the war in Iraq (and 42% were angry) compared with only 36% (for both emotions) among the remaining population. Scottish respondents mentioned Iraq almost twice as often as the next most important issue during the campaign. Moreover, Scottish working class respondents expressed critical stances on the war as frequently as members of the middle or upper classes. That is, anti-war mobilization was truly popular in Scotland. There – and only there – it completely overcame class cleavages.

  2. 2

    Since the Union of 1707, Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom. However, following a referendum, a devolved Scottish Parliament was set up in 1999 with control over many areas including education, health, welfare and with limited powers of taxation. However, other powers were retained by the UK Parliament in Westminster including foreign policy and defence matters. That is, Edinburgh had not control over war and peace, but, as we shall see, the matter was still debated in the Scottish parliament on several occasions.

  3. 3

    Indeed Scots voted on the very day (May 1st) that American President George W. Bush stood on board the USS Abraham Lincoln with a huge ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner behind him and declared that combat operations in Iraq were over.

  4. 4

    The parliament was not in session during most of the two and a half months of the invasion, and no other debate on the issue occurred until the fall of 2003.

  5. 5

    The relevant thematic field was delimited in advance and included two types of arguments (1) moral arguments (defined a priori as ‘all judgments regarding the moral legitimacy of any type of behaviour related to the warfare in Iraq, at any level of responsibility, from the political decision to go to war to the concrete behaviour of the combatants on the ground’), including both moral support and moral condemnation; and (2) categorical arguments (defined as ‘statements that identify the sides involved in the conflict, i.e., arguments regarding who is fighting against whom, representing the interests or aspirations of social entities defined by which type of group boundaries each, and being opposed by what type of intergroup opposition among themselves (e.g., group oppositions defined in national, geopolitical, cultural, or class terms)’ including the identities of the perpetrators or the victims of the war.

  6. 6

    One of the two authors first proposed a way of grouping together single statements under a common label (using summarizing statements that condense the core of individual argument into a single sentence, as a helpful device for creating coding categories inductively). The other author generated alternative interpretations of the original quotes. The previous author crosschecked the resulting revision of the coding system and vice versa until both authors agreed that no additional amendment of the categorical system would improve the balance between parsimony of the coding categories and homogeneity of the grouped original statements.

  7. 7

    As a matter of fact, out of all moral statements made, there were only four cases where the same speaker referred during the same debate to one argument and to its moral counterpart – not enough for the purpose of quantitative analyses, and not too much to be recoded as ‘missing data’ in the corresponding variables.

  8. 8

    The sample design allocated higher selection probabilities to individuals living in small households or rural areas, which can be adjusted by design weights. The net sample size of the survey is 1,508 and there was an overall response rate of 57%.

  9. 9

    Unfortunately, the study variables do not allow for the explicit identification of franchised individuals. However, given that all adult citizens of the European Union or the Commonwealth of Nations are entitled to vote in Scottish parliamentary elections, it is safe to assume that the proportion of respondents who are not part of the Scottish electorate is negligible.

  10. 10

    The resulting distributions should not be confounded with estimates of electoral outcomes because we did not cumulate votes for the same party and because frequencies represent the share of party voters within the overall population and not only among those who actually cast a vote. Non-voters were explicitly included in the sample (coded ‘0’); only the few respondents who did not want to disclose their votes were treated as missing values. This procedure was performed because we are interested in parties’ capacities to mobilize voters in the overall population rather than the share of votes or voters across parties.

  11. 11

    Bivariate correlations indicated moderate positive relationships between levels of identification for both attachment (r = 0.28) and pride (r = 0.28) as well as moderately high positive relationships between attachment and pride within levels of identification (r = 0.48 for Britain and r = 0.35 for Scotland). These moderate associations increase the attractiveness of a multivariate approach based on residual effects because this approach disentangles the contributions of various facets of identity expression and political behaviours. In particular, it separates the critical dimension of national attachment (attachment net of pride) from its chauvinistic component (pride net of attachment; see Roccas, Klar, & Liviatan, 2006).

  12. 12

    As design-weighted statistics produce unbiased population estimates but complicate the interpretation of multivariate confidence intervals, we chose to represent unweighted regression coefficients in detail and systematically cross-validated these models with their design-weighted counterparts to check for divergent conclusions (which did not occur).

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. STUDY 1: PRODUCTION OF WAR/ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE IN PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES
  5. Method
  6. Results
  7. STUDY 2: RECEPTION OF ARGUMENTS IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE
  8. Method
  9. Results
  10. Discussion
  11. References