Date Thesis Awarded

5-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

International Relations

Advisor

Maurits van der Veen

Committee Member

Clay Clemens

Committee Member

George Greenia

Abstract

In 2014, the regions of Scotland and Catalonia voted on independence from their larger states, the United Kingdom and Spain. The period preceding these votes was filled with tense political discussion on a variety of topics ranging from the role of the EU to considerations over social welfare. This thesis presents a cross-regional study of the discussions on the issue of independence that occurred in the years leading up to these historically unique votes. To do this, the paper was inspired by discourse analysis methodology to perform a quantitative test on independence-leaning newspapers from each region. This method traced the recurrence of multiple themes to see if a differences emerged based around the divergent histories, traditions, and local contexts of each region. Although a degree of difference was observed between the two debates, the data indicated unique regional-national ways of referring to independence were more based around circumstantial factors as opposed to deeper identities.

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