Favouring a Disunited Kingdom? How Negative Perceptions of the EU-Referendum Relate to Individual Mobility and Collective Action Considerations


  • Lara Ditrich
  • Edit Z. Gedeon
  • Kai Sassenberg


One consequence of the EU-referendum’s pro-Brexit outcome was a renewed call for Scottish independence. Supporting this call can be construed as a form of collective action Scots may engage in. However, Scots may also consider individual mobility strategies including - in extreme cases - emigration. The current research investigated how identity-dynamics relate to these identity management strategies in post-referendum Scotland. We found a positive association between perceiving the EU-referendum as having violated expectations and considering individual mobility responses, mediated by identity subversion (i.e., the perception that the referendum results fundamentally changed the UK’s identity). Furthermore, we found that perceiving the EU-referendum as having violated expectations was related to higher collective action intentions, mediated by disidentification from UK citizens. Taken together, these findings underscore the pervasive role social identity processes play in shaping political decisions and individual behaviour.