Friends or foes? migrants and sub-state nationalists in Europe

Sanjay Jeram, Arno Van Der Zwet, Verena Wisthaler

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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How do sub-state nationalists respond to the growing presence of cultural diversity in their ‘homelands’ resulting from migration? Sub-state nationalists in Europe, in ‘nations without states’ such as Catalonia and Scotland, have been challenging the traditional nation-state model for many decades. While the arguments in favour of autonomy or independence levelled by these movements have become more complex, sub-state nationalist movements remain grounded by their perceived national community that is distinct from the majority nation. Migration to the ‘homeland’ of a sub-state nation, then, presents a conundrum for sub-state elites that we label the ‘legitimation paradox’: too much internal diversity may undermine the claim to cultural distinctiveness. We engage with three common intervening variables thought to influence how sub-state nationalists confront the ‘legitimation paradox’: civic/ethnic nationalism, degree of political autonomy, and party competition. Our overarching argument is that none of these factors have a unidirectional or determinate effect on the sub-state nationalism-immigration nexus, which is why the nuanced case studies that comprise this Special Issue are worthwhile endeavours.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Early online date15 Sep 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2015


  • Europe
  • immigration
  • multiculturalism
  • nationalism
  • regional parties

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