Collective identity: a navigator in domestic and international politics - The case of Montenegro’s debate on NATO-accession
Abstract: Emerging scholarships on identity politics are challenging the traditional understanding of the relation between politics and identity; from politics shaping identity, to the other way around. The field has lately been successful in mapping out connection between identity and alliance formation, as well as demonstrating how identity shapes political attitudes and policy choices. Based on these findings, the aim of this study is to contribute to the emerging field by investigating how identity was contained and contested in Montenegro’s parliamentary debate on NATO accession in 2015. Montenegro provides with an exceptional empirical window for studying identity in politics, because of the competing national identities: Montenegrin and Serb, which further are affiliated to country’s party politics. The study was carried out through an integrative model of message-actor centric qualitative content analysis by the conceptual framework of identity as a variable and identity politics. The results of the study demonstrated contestation, and the use of identity as a tool by which the dominating groups attempted to promote and influence their interests and goals. Finally, this study calls for a wider integration of identity perspective in understanding domestic and foreign politics, as well as the connection between these two.
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