Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 12, No 1 (2016)

The Scottish independence referendum and the myth of successful small states

Robin Mathias Engström
Issued Date: 4 Jun 2018


In 2013 the Scottish government launched its flagship publication, Scotland's Future, intended to mobilize the electorate to vote for independence. A particularly salient feature of this document is the large number of references to small northern European countries. Combining theories of cognitive linguistics with a discursive approach to political myth, this article argues that Scotland's Future employs the political myth of national rebirth in tandem with the construction of small European countries as democratic role models. This results in a mythical conception of small states, here referred to as the myth of successful small states. This myth is then used to legitimate the Scottish government's policies that are conveyed to the Scottish electorate.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.31460


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