Issp National Identity: Pitfalls in Measuring Nationalism Across Countries and Across Time

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:18
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Miloslav BAHNA, Institute for Sociology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia
Using the example of measuring and comparing nationalism in the two countries of the former Czechoslovakia, we demonstrate the pitfalls present in measurement in international comparative surveys across time. Using five items used to measure nationalism or chauvinism in the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), we construct a nationalism index and compare the levels of nationalism in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We construct several models explaining the individual level of nationalism in both republics in 1995, 2003 and 2013. Besides finding individual level variables explaining the level of nationalism we also evaluate changes occurring in the connection between nationalism and other related concepts like xenophobia or anti-internationalism during the 18 years covered by the ISSP National Identity surveys. We observe a gradual weakening of the connection between nationalism as measured by the index and the related concepts, as well as changes in independent variables which explain nationalism between 1995 and 2013 in the two ex-Czechoslovakia counties. We conclude that the ISSP survey questions intended to measure nationalism are context dependent and gradually – in a new and changing context – fail to measure the very concept they were developed to measure. We conclude with a discussion on how to formulate time and national context invariant measures of nationalism.