Patriotism, Local and Global

In Mitja Sardoč (ed.), Handbook of Patriotism. Berlin, Germany: Springer (forthcoming)

Charles Blattberg
Université de Montréal
The terms “patriotism” and “nationalism” are distinguished historically, conceptually, and geographically. Historically, patriotism is shown to have roots in the classical republican tradition of political thought, according to which citizens should give priority to the common good of their political or civic, as distinct from national, community. Conceptually, it is argued that patriotism is best understood as a political philosophy, an account of the form or forms of dialogue that citizens should engage in when responding to their conflicts, whereas nationalism is a political ideology, an account of the kinds of things that citizens should be saying within those dialogues, in particular, when they take the form of negotiation. Patriotism, then, is that political philosophy which endorses the maxim “conversation first, negotiation second, force third,” since conversation between citizens has the best prospects for realizing and developing the common good. Nationalism, by contrast, is the ideology of those who, when it comes to political negotiations, give the greatest weight to the needs of their national community. Finally, regarding geography, patriotism is shown to be concerned with the jurisdiction of the state, whereas nationalism emphasizes the permanent and sharply demarcated territory where the national community is located. The chapter then concludes with the recommendation that we all need to affirm a global patriotism, alongside the more local forms.
Keywords political philosophy  multiculturalism  civic humanism  dialogue  ideology  nationalism  cosmopolitanism  global justice  United Nations  national identity  global financial crisis
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