Geographies of youth citizenship and national identity: a case study of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Scottish independence referendum

2017-09-11T15:48:07Z (GMT) by Jonathan Duckett
The year 2014 welcomed two major events of national importance for Scotland, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Scottish Independence Referendum. These national sporting and political events provided Scotland and its citizens with an opportunity to display the nation on the world stage and decide upon its geopolitical future. While the referendum was widely acknowledged as a significant ‘once in a generation’ event for all voters, it also marked the first time extension of the franchise in a major UK public ballot to those aged 16 and 17 years old. Therefore, this thesis draws upon the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Independence Referendum as a lens to investigate understandings of youth citizenship and national identity among a generation of newly enfranchised 16 and 17 year old voters, living in the city of Glasgow, located at the epicentre of these events. First, the thesis examines how ideas of Scotland presented through the Games resonated with young people’s conceptions of the nation. Second, the discussion explores how the Games and Referendum prompted young people to consider the future of the nation. Third, the thesis considers how young people mobilised their vote as newly enfranchised citizens through the Referendum. Fourth, the thesis aims to inform, and be informed by, current theories of the geographies of citizenship and national identity. Overall, the thesis concludes by providing a timely and original analysis of the geographies of youth citizenship and national identity through an exploration of the reconfigured interstitial political space that these young people occupied during the referendum.