Democracy Beyond Nationalism

National Identity: Some Reflections on the Future of Europe,"(1) Habermas's specific theme is the `legitimation crisis' arising from the current situation within the European Community.(2) But the deeper philosophical point of the article is to develop a fundamental implication of Habermas's analysis of democracy in his new work, Between Facts and Norms (in which the article is included as an appendix):(3) Habermas argues that the normative content of democratic citizenship can be institutionalized without identity-formation in by a `national state' of the kind that still dominates our geopolitical landscape. The concept of democracy cannot be restricted to nationalist contexts; instead, by its very nature it points beyond such restrictions, and ultimately towards a global government that would ensure fundamental human rights worldwide. In the process, Habermas develops several ideas from his much earlier analyses of social integration and links them in revealing ways to his universalist conception of human rights. Finally, Habermas explicitly criticizes communitarian arguments that particularist criteria in immigration are permissible or required to maintain a political culture adequate for democratic citizenship.
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