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The articulation of nation and politics in the Scottish press

Higgins, Michael (2004) The articulation of nation and politics in the Scottish press. Journal of Language and Politics, 3 (3). pp. 463-483. ISSN 1569-2159

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Abstract

This article explores the political use of discourses of nation by analysing the use of location formulation across a selection of Scottish newspapers. The article looks at a sample of the election coverage of six Scottish titles and conducts a corpus analysis to set out the patterns in their use of named locales. It argues that references to nation both come in a variety of forms and are driven by the constitutional disputes around the position of Scotland relative to the United Kingdom. In particular, the article finds that the newspapers engage in different rhetorical strategies that emphasise the Scottish dimension of the election, its British dimension, or a negotiated position between the two. The article therefore seeks to highlight the discursive role that the lexical expression of nation and nationhood might have in the articulation between nation and politics, and suggests that in the Scottish case the formulation of nation is employed in the reproduction of competing, constitutionally based political discourses.