Is patriotism an associative duty?

Journal of Ethics 13 (4):383-399 (2009)
Associative duties—duties inherent to some of our relationships—are most commonly discussed in terms of intimate associations such as of families, friends, or lovers. In this essay I ask whether impersonal associations such as state or nation can also give rise to genuinely associative duties, i.e., duties of patriotism or nationalism. I distinguish between the two in terms of their objects: the object of patriotism is an institutionalized political community, whereas the object of nationalism is a group of people who share a common identity, often grounded in a belief in shared history, and an aspiration for collective self-government together. I explore three arguments for the thesis that a special concern for one’s polity and fellow-citizens, or one’s nation and co-nationals, is an associative duty: from reciprocity, from collective self-determination, and from the well-being of compatriots or co-nationals. I argue that the relationship among compatriots is a more plausible contender for generating associative duties than the relationship among co-nationals, although even in this case there are questions whether these are genuinely associative duties, or simply special duties. Although the relationship among co-nationals is a less plausible contender for associative duties, the well-being argument does apply to the relationship among both co-nationals and compatriots. I also suggest that there is a certain privileging of the status quo in the way that associative duties arguments work, because they tend to operate from existing relations and associations
Keywords Associative duties  Patriotism  Nationalism  Reciprocity  Samuel Scheffler  Self-determination
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Seth Lazar (2009). Debate: Do Associative Duties Really Not Matter? Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (1):90-101.
Niko Kolodny (2002). Do Associative Duties Matter? Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (3):250–266.
Gillian Brock (2008). What Do We Owe Others as a Matter of Global Justice and Does National Membership Matter? Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (4):433-448.
Thomas Pogge (2002). Cosmopolitanism: A Defence. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5 (3):86-91.
David Miller (2005). Reasonable Partiality Towards Compatriots. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1-2):63-81.
Seth Lazar (2010). A Liberal Defence of (Some) Duties to Compatriots. Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (3):246-257.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

68 ( #67,326 of 1,938,858 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #219,396 of 1,938,858 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.