Inequality, Elite Messaging and National Pride

  • Abstract

    A growing body of research has linked the intensity of nationalism worldwide to shifts in levels of income inequality. Cross-national survey data seems to indicate that more unequal societies tend to have more nationalist citizens. Two major theoretical explanations have emerged for this phenomenon, one rooted in methodological individualism and social identity theory, and the other rooted in the behavior of political elites. This paper presents a preliminary analysis of data from the Comparative Manifesto Project and European Values Survey to suggest that both phenomena may be at work, and that inequality and political rhetoric have mutually-and reinforcing effects on the intensity of nationalism among contemporary publics.