Close strangers

Studies in East European Thought 51 (2):109-125 (1999)
Nationalism is normally directed against closest neighbors. This simple fact -- The Hated Neighbor Truism -- has important consequences, mostly overlooked in moral debates on nationalism. First, it undercuts the defense of nationalism based on the (alleged) moral worth of proximity: since nationalists hate closest neighbors, they cannot consistently rely upon such defense. Second, it blocks the usual theoretical contrast of nationalism with cosmopolitanism: the main enemies of the nationalist are not indiscriminate cosmopolitans, but the neighbor-lovers, call them macro-regionalists. Finally, it suggests that the proper response to nationalism is a graded, region-sensitive moderate cosmopolitanism.
Keywords cosmopolitanism  nationalism  impartiality
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008664319975
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