8th Historical Dialogues, Justice Memory Network, Columbia University, New York, United States Of America, 12 - 14 December 2019
National identification has been long conceptualised as a natural bond with the territory and a belief in common ancestors. National identity in modern pluralist societies, however, can be defined as an individual's identity shaped by their relations with political institutions, public life, and a collective sense of the community. The first aim of the present study is to understand different national identity contents such as ascriptive/essentialist, and constructive/civic by focusing on comparative political contexts. The second one is to examine the implications of these contents in the Northern Ireland peace process. In the first study, citizens of Turkey (N = 595), the UK (N = 643), and the USA (N = 587) were asked to complete the National Identity Contents Scale (NICS). In the second study, 365 participants from Northern Ireland were asked to complete questionnaires, including a set of measurements as well as the NICS. A series of structural equation models was performed to test the multigroup invariance of various contents of national identity and the effects of national attachment factors on inter-community trust. The results indicate that newly emerged Northern Irish identity has a positive effect on intergroup trust through trust in outgroup politicians, but this indirect effect depends on various contents of identity, which are also seen to be robust in the comparative national contexts. The implications of the findings in relation to identity and citizenship literature will be discussed.
Keywords: social identity, civic attachment, citizenship, intergroup conflict, Northern Ireland