This article analyses the significance of polity-wide parties’ understanding of state and nation for their ability and willingness to accommodate territorial diversity. To illustrate this point, we first introduce a typology containing four ‘ideal-types’ of state nationalism: dominant, integrationist, composite, and plurinational. Subsequently, we apply this typology to two plural and multi-level polities, Spain and India, during two critical junctures: their founding constitutional moments and more recent episodes of change associated with ‘the Catalan question’ in Spain and the rise of the BJP in India, respectively. Our analysis underscores how varieties of state nationalism inform the nature and evolution of the territorial constitution, in form and in practice, and the extent to which such shifts are linked to party competition and changes in the party system.
Bibliographical noteThe authors would like to thank two anonymous referees and the journal editor, Christina Zuber for constructive comments. The usual disclaimers apply.
- party competition
- party ideology
- State nationalism
- sub-state nationalism