National identity and attachment to national culture have taken root even in this era of globalization. National sentiments find expression in multiple political spheres and cause troubles of various kinds in many societies, both domestically and across state borders. Some of these problems are rooted in history; others are the result of massive global immigration. As US Secretary of State John Kerry tries to broker a new round of Israel-Palestine peace talks, the Israeli government continues expanding its settlements in disputed (...) territories. As this proposal is being written, Japanese citizens are debating whether their politicians should visit the Yasukuni Shrine (靖國神社), where the spirits of fourteen Class A war criminals from WWII and more than one thousand others convicted of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East are honored with a distinguished resting place. As the Chinese government’s plan to bring economic prosperity to the Xinjian province unfolds, ethnic conflicts between Han Chinese and local Uyghur Muslims intensify. Tibetans still demonstrate to the Chinese government, some through the dramatic sacrifice of self-immolation, their determination to pursue a Tibet that is truly free and autonomous. The recent inflow of Muslim immigrants across Europa and North America forces those liberal democratic societies to rethink the meaning of multiculturalism. Should the state respect Muslim women’s freedom to wear burkas in public? What about other aspects of certain Muslim traditions such as arranged marriages or the honor killing of teenage girls who see boys their parents do not approve? Since these immigrants voluntarily moved from their homeland to a new society, do they have a duty to give up such practices, which conflict with their new societies’ fundamental commitment to individual autonomy? Eric Hobsbawm suggests that nationalism is a contingent phenomenon in history—it arises with important historical events such as industrialization and print journalism; eventually, it will disappear. Anthony Smith, on the other hand, argues that nationalism is deeply rooted in the human need for collective faith and dignity. How should we understand today’s nationalism? Is it a transient phenomenon that eventually will be eradicated from the world, or is it a timeless issue that confronts and will remain a challenge for every society? Is the conventional distinction between civic and cultural nationalism still relevant or helpful? The problems and ongoing challenges of nationalism are very much alive throughout East Asia where the myth of ethnically and culturally homogeneous nations is still paramount. In addition to the examples provided above, East Asian societies are increasingly multicultural, inevitably forcing their governments to come up with new immigration and border-control policies, revisit their laws regarding labor policies, sociopolitical discrimination, socioeconomic welfare, and, more fundamentally, rethink the constitutional make-up of the citizenry and the ideal of social harmony, one of their most cherished political values. Nevertheless, contemporary theoretical analyses, whether philosophical or empirical, of the phenomena surrounding nationalism, in all its forms, are almost exclusively focused on cases in western cultures and societies, preventing the East Asian people from developing a coherent idea of who they are or should be in a way that can track their deeply-held values and norms (such as Confucianism). One of the primary aims of this conference therefore is to address this ongoing neglect and explore new concepts and theories that are socially relevant in East Asia. Not only will this provide access to the particular experiences of nation, citizenship, and nationalism throughout East Asia but it will bring to bear philosophical concepts, approaches, and styles of reasoning about them that currently are not part of this critical debate. Providing an opportunity to hear these distinct and different East Asian voices and opening up these conceptual and methodological resources to scholars around the world will greatly advance the understanding and appreciation of nationalism. In addition to this primary aim, the proposed conference will achieve two other, novel, and important goals. First, by design, it will bring to bear a multi and interdisciplinary approach to the problems of nationalism. We are not privileging either conceptual or empirical studies in the organization of our conference and will bring together philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, and historians, making every effort to invite scholars who explicitly employ or are interested in exploring different and at times hybrid approaches. Second, we will draw together scholars from around the world: China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, North America, and Europe, including leading figures in the field, who will serve as keynote speakers for the conference. Combining these two additional goals will enable us to organize a uniquely diverse conference, both in terms of intellectual discipline and national origin. Along with our primary aim of introducing East Asian voices and theories, this will make our event original, distinctive, and unprecedented in value. Our age is one in which it is unavoidable for people of different cultural backgrounds to live together in many different places. For the sake of justice and stability, a comprehensive re-examination of nationalism is both urgent and necessary. (shrink)
The cosmopolitan idea of justice is commonly accused of not taking seriously the special ties and commitments of nationality and patriotism. This is because the ideal of impartial egalitarianism, which is central to the cosmopolitan view, seems to be directly opposed to the moral partiality inherent to nationalism and patriotism. In this book, Kok-Chor Tan argues that cosmopolitan justice, properly understood, can accommodate and appreciate nationalist and patriotic commitments, setting limits for these commitments without denying their moral significance. This (...) book offers a defense of cosmopolitan justice against the charge that it denies the values that ordinarily matter to people, and a defence of nationalism and patriotism against the charge that these morally partial ideals are fundamentally inconsistent with the obligations of global justice. Accessible and persuasive, this book will have broad appeal to political theorists and moral philosophers. (shrink)
In _Marx at the Margins_, Kevin Anderson uncovers a variety of extensive but neglected texts by the well-known political economist which cast what we thought we knew about his work in a startlingly different light. Analyzing a variety of Marx’s writings, including journalistic work written for the _New York Tribune_, Anderson presents us with a Marx quite at odds with our conventional interpretations. Rather than providing us with an account of Marx as an exclusively class-based thinker, Anderson here offers a (...) portrait of Marx for the twenty-first century: a global theorist whose social critique was sensitive to the varieties of human social and historical development, including not just class, but nationalism, race, and ethnicity, as well. _Marx at the Margins _ultimately argues that alongside his overarching critique of capital, Marx created a theory of history that was multi-layered and not easily reduced to a single model of development or revolution. Through highly-informed readings on work ranging from Marx’s unpublished 1879–82 notebooks to his passionate writings about the antislavery cause in the United States, this volume delivers a groundbreaking and canon-changing vision of Karl Marx that is sure to provoke lively debate in Marxist scholarship and beyond. (shrink)
The political theory of migration has largely occurred within a paradigm of methodological nationalism and this has led to the neglect of morally salient agents and causes. This article draws on research from the social sciences on the transnationalism, globalization and migration systems theory to show how methodological nationalist assumptions have affected the views of political theorists on membership, culture and distributive justice. In particular, it is contended that methodological nationalism has prevented political theorists of migration from addressing (...) the roles of non-state agents and of transnational economic, social and political structures. These agents and structures contribute to the asymmetrical distribution of goods and opportunities and thus have important implications for debates about migration and distributive justice. (shrink)
Colonial encounters in the 1850s: the European impact on India, Indonesia, and China -- Russia and Poland: the relationship of national emancipation to revolution -- Race, class, and slavery: the Civil War as a second American revolution -- Ireland: nationalism, class, and the labor movement -- From the Grundrisse to Capital: multilinear themes -- Late writings on non-western and precapitalist societies -- Conclusion -- Appendix: the vicissitudes of the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe from the 1920s to today.
A major issue in political philosophy is the extent to which one or another version of nationalism or, by contrast, cosmopolitanism, is morally justified. Nationalism, like cosmopolitanism, may be understood as a position on the status and responsibilities of nation states, but the terms may also be used to designate attitudes appropriate to those positions. One problem in political philosophy is to distinguish and appraise various forms of nationalism and cosmopolitanism ; a related problem is how to (...) understand the relation of patriotism to each. Nationalists may tend to be patriots, but need not be; patriots may tend to be nationalists, but need not be. Like nationalism, patriotism may also be considered in propositional forms or in related attitudinal forms; but unlike nationalism and cosmopolitanism, patriotism can exist in the form of an emotion: roughly, love of one’s country. This paper characterizes nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and patriotism in both forms and argues for a conception of patriotism on which it is both distinct from nationalism and compatible with certain kinds of cosmopolitanism. It also suggests that, in qualified forms, nationalism and cosmopolitanism may overlap in what they require of their proponents. (shrink)
Cultural-nationalist and democratic theory both seek to legitimize political power via collective self-rule: their principle of legitimacy refers right back to the very persons over whom political power is exercised. But such self-referential theories are incapable of jointly solving the distinct problems of legitimacy and boundaries, which they necessarily combine, once it is assumed that the self-ruling collectivity must be a pre-political, in-principle bounded, ground of legitimacy. Cultural nationalism claims that political power is legitimate insofar as it expresses the (...) nation’s pre-political culture, but it cannot fix cultural-national boundaries pre-politically. Hence the collapse into ethnic nationalism. Traditional democratic theory claims that political power is legitimized pre-politically, but cannot itself legitimize the boundaries of the people. Hence the collapse into cultural nationalism. Only once we recognize that the demos is in principle unbounded, and abandon the quest for a pre-political ground of legitimacy, can democratic theory fully avoid this collapse of demos into nation into ethnos. But such a theory departs radically from traditional theory. (shrink)
Is the institutionalization of religious freedom through human rights jurisprudence simply a means by which the modern nation-state manufactures and regulates “religion”? Is the discourse of religious freedom principally a technology of state governance? These questions challenge the ways that scholars conceptualize the relation between states, nationalism, human rights, and religious freedom. This article forwards an approach to human rights and methodological nationalism that both counters and explores alternatives to the prevailing conceptions of human rights, nationalism, and (...) state sovereignty in the discourse on the putative impossibility—and, by some accounts, insidiousness—of religious freedom. I first explicate the interpretive and contestatory dimensions of human rights discourse concerning religious freedom. I then explore cross-cutting ambivalences within the nationalisms that states need and cultivate in effort to transmute their monopoly upon coercive force (i.e. power) into legitimated authority. I argue that these provide two dimensions in and through which state sovereignty may be opposed, criticized, held accountable, and subject to change. (shrink)
Many liberals have argued that a cosmopolitan perspective on global justice follows from the basic liberal principles of justice. Yet, increasingly, it is also said that intrinsic to liberalism is a doctrine of nationalism. This raises a potential problem for the liberal defense of cosmopolitan justice as it is commonly believed that nationalism and cosmopolitanism are conflicting ideals. If this is correct, there appears to be a serious tension within liberal philosophy itself, between its cosmopolitan aspiration on the (...) one hand, and its nationalist agenda on the other. I argue, however, that this alleged conflict between liberal nationalism and cosmopolitan liberalism disappears once we get clear on the scope and goals of cosmopolitan justice and the parameters of liberal nationalism. Liberal nationalism and cosmopolitan global justice, properly understood, are mutually compatible ideals. (shrink)
Although nonliberal nationalism has played a prominent role in previously and currently colonized nations of the Third World, its assessment by liberal political theorists has been less than favorable. These theorists believe that nonliberal nationalisms are bound to be oppressive to marginalized members, since they view nonliberal cultures, which such movements aim to protect and maintain, to be essentialist and static monoliths that do not recognize the fundamental value of individual rights. In this article, I defend nonliberal nationalisms of (...) previously or currently colonized nations—what I call nonliberal polycentric nationalisms—by arguing that they can be morally justified, provided that they are democratic. This argument is supported by communitarian constructions of moral agency and culture, which show that nonliberal cultures hold emancipatory potential for the insiders who actively participate in the reconstruction of their national culture. (shrink)
Most Third World feminists consider nationalism as detrimental to feminism. Against this general trend, I argue that “polycentric” nationalism has potentials for advocating feminist causes in the Third World. “Polycentric” nationalism, whose proper goal is the attainment and maintenance of national self-determination, is still relevant in this neocolonial age of capitalist globalization and may serve feminist purposes of promoting the well-being of the majority of Third World women who suffer disproportionately under this system.
This article aims to refute the “incompatibility thesis” that nationalism is incompatible with transnational feminist solidarity, as it fosters exclusionary practices, xenophobia, and racism among feminists with conflicting nationalist aspirations. I examine the plausibility of the incompatibility thesis by focusing on the controversy regarding just reparation for Second World War “comfort women,” which is still unresolved. The Korean Council at the center of this controversy, which advocates for the rights of Korean former comfort women, has been criticized for its (...) strident nationalism and held responsible for the stalemate. Consequently, the case of comfort women has been thought to exemplify the incompatibility thesis. I argue against this common feminist perception in three ways: first, those who subscribe to the incompatibility thesis have misinterpreted facts surrounding the issue; second, the Korean Council's nationalism is a version of “polycentric nationalism,” which avoids the problems of essentialist nationalism at the center of feminist concerns; and, third, transnational feminist solidarity is predicated on the idea of oppressed/marginalized women's epistemic privilege and enjoins that feminists respect oppressed/marginalized women's epistemic privilege. To the extent that oppressed/marginalized women's voices are expressed in nationalist terms, I argue that feminists committed to transnational feminist solidarity must accommodate their nationalism. (shrink)
There is an increasing turn to nationalism around the world. The advocacy of “America First” policies, the Brexit leave campaign in Britain, and recent elections in Poland and Hungary show evidence of a rise in nationalistic sentiments. One reason given to explain this rise in nationalism is that in an increasingly diverse world stability is not possible without close cultural links between members of society, and that a shared national culture can provide those links. Nationalists argue that a (...) shared national culture is a necessary condition of creating social solidarity that creates social stability. However, the nationalist solution to creating social solidarity can be questioned on a number of counts. First, it relies on a conceptually problematic account of national identity that holds that national identity includes elements like a shared culture, a shared history, and a shared connection to a particular geographic territory. There are reasons to think that this type of account of national identity is closer to an account of ethnicity than an account of national identity. An ethnic nationalism is morally problematic as it contends that one can only have solidarity with those who share one’s ethnicity, and could be used to justify discrimination against ethnic minorities. Second, even if this is the correct account of national identity, it is not the case that a shared culture, a shared history, and a shared connection to a particular geographic territory are necessary or sufficient conditions for social solidarity. Finally, nationalist attempts to protect the national identity of a liberal democracy by restricting all immigration, may actually destroy the values, such as individual rights and limited government of that liberal democracy. (shrink)
'Christian nationalism' refers to the set of ideas in which belief in the development and superiority of one's national group is combined with, or underwritten by, Christian theology and practice. This study examines Kierkegaard's critique of Christian nationalism in relation to political science theories of religious nationalism.
The recent nationalist movements in liberal democratic states such as the US, the UK, and Germany have been related to xenophobia. The rise of Trumpism brands Muslims and Mexicans as outsiders, while part of the motivation behind Brexit was animosity towards non-Britons like Poles and Muslims. The question is how are nationalism and xenophobia related. According to Ronald Sundstrom, nationalism shelters xenophobia by creating obstacles that prevent immigrants and refugees from attaining a sense of civic belonging. He uses (...) the metaphor of sheltering to suggest that xenophobia becomes a byproduct of nationalism in the right conditions. I think this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between nationalism and xenophobia. In this essay, I do three things: first, I articulate Sundstrom’s argument explaining how each of the three obstacles works to produce an environment of xenophobia; then I consider what reforms might look like, yet these reforms would no longer leave us with something that we can recognize as nationalism; lastly, I argue that nationalism just is the modern day manifestation of xenophobia and so they are inseparable social phenomena. (shrink)
Can states' immigration policies favor groups with whom they are culturally and historically tied? I shall answer this question here positively, but in a qualified manner. My arguments in support of this answer will be of distributive justice, presupposing a globalist rather than a localist approach to justice. They will be based on a version of liberal nationalism according to which individuals can have fundamental interests in their national culture, interests which are rooted in freedom, identity, and especially in (...) ensuring the meaningfulness of their endeavor. The prevalent means for protecting these interests is the right to national self-determination. Many believe that this right should be conceived of as a right to a state. I shall show that this conception of self-determination implies purely nationalist immigration policies. I shall present reasons for rejecting such policies, reasons which together with other reasons form a strong case against the statist interpretation of the right to self-determination. They form a strong case in favor of understanding self-determination as a bundle of privileges to which nations are entitled within the states dominating their homelands. Some of these privileges have to do with immigration policies. I shall argue for three principles which should regulate these immigration privileges and discuss the relation between them and Israel's Law of Return. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young’s politics of difference promotes equality among socially and culturally different groups within multicultural states and advocates group autonomy to empower such groups to develop their own voice. Extending the politics of difference to the international sphere, Young advocates “decentered diverse democratic federalism” that combines local self-determination and cosmopolitanism, while adamantly rejecting nationalism. Herr argues that nationalism, charitably interpreted, is not only consistent with Young’s politics of difference but also necessary for realizing Young’s ideal in the (...) global arena. (shrink)
I analyze the relationship between women and nationalism and argue that women's identity and relationship to the “Other” is different from that of men, hence even when women participate in nationalism it is in a less violent form. I argue, further, that the structures of nationalism are fundamentally homosocial, and antagonism toward women of one's own nation is one of the first forms of attack on the “Other,” and is constitutive of “extreme nationalism.”.
This article explores the relationship between ignorance, authority and nationalism in neoliberal thought and practice to argue that, far from signalling its end, the recent global rise of the right-wing demagogue is firmly rooted in neoliberalism. Part one mobilises the aesthetic concept of the sublime to explore the central place of, and relationship between, ignorance and authority. Part two argues that neoliberalism has its own form of nationalism which is underpinned by a social Darwinist logic. It is here (...) that we find the basis for the intersection between neoliberalism and the forms of vitriolic and xenophobic nationalism which have helped propel the global ascendency of the neoliberal demagogue. The concluding section argues that, in the context of growing inequality and insecurity, the demagogue mystifies social relations, projecting blame for the failings of the system on those constructed as "enemies of the people" in the interests of maintaining the status quo. (shrink)
Gillian Brock attempts to reconcile cosmopolitanism with nationalism in Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account . She claims that her cosmopolitanism leaves room for legitimate nationalism. I argue that her cosmopolitanism is not only a theory of global justice, but also a general theory of justice, according to which what justice may demand of us is fundamentally global in nature. As such, Brock's cosmopolitanism cannot accommodate nationalism in the overall structure of what justice may demand of us, but (...) has to relegate it to the discretionary space left open after what justice may demand of us globally has been met. This does not amount to much of a reconciliation or a particularly moderate cosmopolitanism, contrary to Brock's claim. More important, I argue, Brock's cosmopolitan theory of justice need not follow from the more fundamental view of moral cosmopolitanism. (shrink)
Over the past ten years or so, the position of Liberal Nationalism has progressed from being an apparent oxymoron to a widely accepted view. In this paper I sketch the most prominent liberal defenses of nationalism, focusing first on the difficulties of specifying criteria of nationhood, then criticizing what I take to be the most promising, culture-based defense, forwarded by Will Kymlicka. I argue that such an approach embroils one in a pernicious conservatism completely at odds with the (...) global justice concerns that I take to be central to liberalism with its core values of equality and liberty. (shrink)
Martin Buber’s essay “False Prophets” was written in Hebrew in Jerusalem two years after he fled Nazi Germany and assumed a professorship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The essay offers a political analysis of the dramatic confrontation between the prophets Jeremiah and Hananiah. It speaks about the dangers of nationalism in Jeremiah’s biblical Jerusalem and in Buber’s own modern Jerusalem, eight years before the proclamation of the State of Israel. Who is the real lover of the homeland, Buber (...) asks, the patriot who cares not about human beings, or the concerned individual who is willing to compromise in order to avoid destruction and save lives? When does nationalism become malignant? What is the difference between a true prophet and a false one? (shrink)
Political choices favoring one''s country or one''s nationality are wrong if they conflict with a principle of universal free acceptability, prohibiting choices that violate every set of rules to which any willing cooperator would want all to conform. Despite its universalism, this principle requires patriotic favoritism in political choices and permits individuals to assert nationalist interests in claims for state aid. But it deprives patriotism and nationalism of any distinctive role in establishing the legitimacy of wars and uprisings. These (...) restrictions are appropriate even if stronger forms of patriotism and nationalism are psychologically indispensable for achieving social goals required for universal free acceptability. (shrink)
In recent times, in Asia and more specifically in South Asia the discourse on ethnic and religious nationalisms that attempt to redefine the identity of locals in an exclusive and adversarial manner has dominated political and mainstream exchanges. This emphasis on stringent and radical nationalism has serious ramifications for inclusive development. This article critically examines the findings of the Inclusive Development Index 2018 and link it with other reports and surveys like the Oxfam survey 2017 to find out the (...) connections between stringent forms of nationalism and development. Besides analyzing briefly the notions of nationalism as played out concretely in the South Asian nations, this article makes an in-depth analysis of the specific case of the right wing ‘Hindutva’ ideology in India. The processes, institutions and structures that lead to various forms of systemic bias and discrimination against the minorities will be identified, and the role of stringent nationalism in reinforcing these biases and thus impeding the project of inclusive development will be scrutinised. Keywords : inclusive development, radical nationalism, Hindutva, minorities, South Asia, inequality, post-colonial. (shrink)
Abstract Viroli is right to draw a distinction between republican patriotism and nationalism. But in arguing that the former can correct the problems associated with the latter, he places too much trust in the descriptions of patriotism offered by republican theorists. In practice, republican patriotism has been almost as fierce and hostile to outsiders as nationalism. Patriotism might make us better citizens, but it will not make the world a more peaceful or generous place.
This study discusses the formation of national identity and the nation state in the modern Middle East in comparison with Turkey, one of the earlier models of national state formation in the region. The basic aim of the study is to examine the position of religion and religious identity as the source of legitimacy in the modern state. In order to have a better understanding of the relationship between nationalism and religion in the Middle East, the study attempts to (...) look at the development of Egyptian nationalism and the role of religion in the making of modern state in Egypt. The study also attempts to make a comparative historical work by analyzing the history of the early Republican Turkey and the consolidation of the modern Turkish state by legitimacy other than religion hitherto the basic source of authority. (shrink)
Our historical study of Canada’s main research university illuminates the overlooked influence of national identities and interests as forces shaping the institutionalization of technology transfer. Through the use of archival sources we trace the rise and influence of Canadian technological nationalism—a response to Canada’s perceived dependency on the United States’ science and technology. Technological nationalism provided a symbol for producing a shared understanding of the desirability and appropriateness of technology transfer that legitimated the commercial activities of university scientists.
Attempts at formulating a dichotomous classification of nations and nationalisms have proliferated in the relevant literature over a long period of time. In this study some of the most influential instances of dual typologies of nationalisms are selected for interpretation and analysis. The examples include Renan's understanding of differences between the "French" and the "German" concepts of nation; Kohn's distinction between "eastern" and "western" nationalisms; a revision of Kohn's dichotomy suggested by J. Plamenatz; and a more recent version of dual (...) typology propounded by L. Greenfield. By reconstructing the views of the selected theorists of nationalism, at the basis of all these typologies a dichotomous division into "civic" and "ethnic" nationalism is identified. Critical objections to this fundamental dual division are articulated at two levels. At the first, historical level, a socio-political contextualization of dual typologies points to their practical, political-ideological purposes. At the second, conceptual level, and drawing on the ideas of R. Brubaker, the author discusses analytical and normative weaknesses of the usual distinction between "civic" and "ethnic" nationalism. (shrink)
To date, the study of “religion” and “martial arts” is a lacuna of the field in Religious Studies in which the depth of association has long gone unrecognised. What little study there is, however, suffers from a practitioner’s bias in that those writing on martial arts are also attempting to promote the agenda of their own discipline. This paper attempts a more critical approach to show the study of martial arts can contribute to the ongoing problematisation of “religion” as an (...) analytic category, particularly in its relation to “the secular” and “nationalism”. To do this I will draw on the philosophical phenomenology of Husserl, Sartre and Schutz to argue that “religions”, “nationalisms” and “martial arts” are all names given to modes of naturalisation. By this I mean they are means by which a person “fits” within their life-world and deals with the problems of surviving and thriving. In this case of martial arts, these can be seen as modes of naturalisation through debates on “sportification”. As commonly conceived, the sportification of a martial art risks impeding its “spiritual” aspects. It is the martial artists’ understanding of “spiritual” as something public and serious that mark it out as a mode of naturalisation. In the case of “religion” and “nationalism” these are ideological means of categorising modes of naturalisation, primarily as a means of “Othering”. By looking at the case of Kendo and its origins in the samurai, this paper will show the fluidity with which these ascriptions can be applied to a single “tradition” depending on context. (shrink)
Abstract: Michael Walzer and David Miller defend the authority of democratic states to determine who will be allowed entry and membership. In support of this view they have claimed that the domestic solidarity necessary for social justice is threatened by the unregulated influx of outsiders. This empirical thesis proves to be false when applied to the United States, where heavy Latino and Latina immigration is more likely to increase civic solidarity than to diminish it. Seen in this light, the positions (...) of Jürgen Habermas and Carol Gould, giving human rights priority over democratic sovereignty in decisions about membership, cannot be criticized as utopian. Liberal philosophers can also defend open borders as a way to give oppressed peoples representation inside powerful countries where state decisions often threaten access to essential resources and basic freedoms in their home countries. (shrink)
Liberal nationalists advance two claims: (1) an empirical claim that nationalism is functionally indispensable to the viability of liberal democracy (because it is necessary to social integration) and (2) a normative claim that some forms of nationalism are compatible with liberal democratic norms. The empirical claim is often supported, against postnationalists’ view that social integration can bypass ethnicity and nationality, by pointing to the inevitable ethnic and cultural particularities of all political institutions. I argue that (1) the argument (...) that ethno-cultural particularity demonstrates the need for nationalist integration depends on an implausible reification of national identity at the level of social theory, and that (2) this reification ironically serves to undermine liberal nationalists’ normative claim. (shrink)
To many people, the very idea of nationalism smacks of ethnocentrism or even racism. They suspect that violence, hatred, and distrust of the Other, embodied in a sharply divided world of "us" and "them," always lurk within the nationalist's heart. Recent world events have done nothing to allay these suspicions. Nationalism, on this view, is an evil to be overcome by a cosmopolitan stance that denies the significance of national boundaries. Yet positive values have also been associated with (...) the nationalist idea, as some recent accounts remind us.ii Democracy, autonomy, community, pluralism -- these goods have been connected with the development of nationalism over the past several centuries. Some of the values underlying nationalism also manifest themselves today in its dilute and more respectable cousin, multiculturalism. And it goes without saying that whatever its merits, nationalism exerts enormous power on the aspirations of many people around the world. (shrink)
The principle of national self-determination holds that a national community, simply by virtue of being a national community, has a prima facie right to create its own sovereign state. While many support this principle, not as many agree that it should be formally recognized by political institutions. One of the main concerns is that implementing this principle may lead to certain types of inequalities—between nations with and without their own states, members inside and outside the border, and members and nonmembers (...) inside the same nation state. While these inequalities may arise, I shall argue that they are not unjust. These worries are partly the results of confusing two types of interests that a national group may have—in cultural affairs and in political affairs. While a national community should enjoy rights over their cultural affairs, this does not grant them authority over other non-cultural, political affairs. Once the distinction is drawn, we can see that there are constraints on the implementation of this principle. Consequently, these inequalities justify setting limits to a group’s right of self-government, although they do not conclusively refute the right itself. (shrink)