"This is a most timely, intelligent, well-written, and absorbing essay on a central and painful social and political problem of out time."--Sir Isaiah Berlin"The major achievement of this remarkable book is a critical theory of nationalism, worked through historical and contemporary examples, explaining the value of national commitments and defining their moral limits. Tamir explores a set of problems that philosophers have been notably reluctant to take on, and leaves us all in her debt."--Michael WalzerIn this provocative work, Yael Tamir (...) urges liberals not to surrender the concept of nationalism to conservative, chauvinist, or racist ideologies. In her view, liberalism, with its respect for personal autonomy, reflection, and choice, and nationalism, with its emphasis on belonging, loyalty, and solidarity are not irreconcilable. Here she offers a new theory, "liberal nationalism," which allows each set of values to accommodate the other. Tamir sees nationalism as an affirmation of communal and cultural memberships and as a quest for recognition and self-respect. Persuasively she argues that national groups can enjoy these benefits through political arrangements other than the nation-state. While acknowledging that nationalism places members of national minorities at a disadvantage, the author offers guidelines for alleviating the problems involved using examples from currents conflicts in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.Liberal Nationalismis an impressive attempt to tie together a wide range of issues often kept apart: personal autonomy, cultural membership, political obligations, particularity versus impartiality in moral duties, and global justice. Drawing on material from disparate fields--including political philosophy, ethics, law, and sociology--Tamir brings out important and previously unnoticed interconnections between them, offering a new perspective on the influence of nationalism on modern political philosophy. (shrink)
The surprising case for liberal nationalism Around the world today, nationalism is back—and it’s often deeply troubling. Populist politicians exploit nationalism for authoritarian, chauvinistic, racist, and xenophobic purposes, reinforcing the view that it is fundamentally reactionary and antidemocratic. But Yael Tamir makes a passionate argument for a very different kind of nationalism—one that revives its participatory, creative, and egalitarian virtues, answers many of the problems caused by neoliberalism and hyperglobalism, and is essential to democracy at its best. In Why Nationalism, (...) she explains why it is more important than ever for the Left to recognize these positive qualities of nationalism, to reclaim it from right-wing extremists, and to redirect its power to progressive ends. Provocative and hopeful, Why Nationalism is a timely and essential rethinking of a defining feature of our politics. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Education and Politics The Politics of Identity Rewriting the Curricula Retraining Teachers Rethinking Parental Choices and Demands for Segregation The Limits of Diversity.
This paper offers an analysis of the notion “the quest for identity.” The discussion emphasizes the importance of communal belonging, but rejects the view that one ought to belong to the community one was born to. It suggests that the quest for identity may lead individuals to follow many avenues: while some individuals might affirm their “inherent” affiliations and traditions, others may remain within their community of origin and strive to change its ways, or chose to leave their social group (...) and opt for membership in a new one. This analysis suggests that choice, characteristic of the liberal conception of the person, and rootedness, characteristic of the communitarian conception of the person, both play an important role in the formation of personal identity. (shrink)
In multicultural societies different communities live side by side with each other, respecting each other's identities and traditions to different degrees, sometimes living in harmony and sometimes in conflict. The phenomenon of multiculturalism requires us to re-examine many of the concepts used in political theory, for example 'citizenship', 'rights', 'toleration', 'democracy'. Most of all, multiculturalism demands a redefinition of educational ends and means. The writers in this volume employ their discussions of multiculturalism to reflect on the liberal democratic tradition and (...) in so doing allow us better to understand its scope as well as its limits. (shrink)
This paper attempts to follow the changes in the concept “state” over the last two hundred years, by tracing changes in the aims of public education. Four major stages are identified. The first is characterized by the establishment of the nation-state, when a national and civic education are fused together. The second is marked by the erosion of the identity between state and nation, and by attempts to prevent this process through the development of contradictory educational strategies: ‘neutral civic education’ (...) and nation building through the mechanism of the ‘melting pot’. At the third stage, despite the above-mentioned efforts, the awakening of national minorities demanding special national education sharpens the distinction between civic and national education. This leads to the last stage, the politics of difference, when the nationally homogenous nation-state is replaced by a consciously heterogenous state. Such a state can grant all its members equal civil and national rights only if it endorses traditional liberal values. Hence, despite the fact they firmly criticize liberalism and attempt to revive particular national education supporters of the politics of difference cannot deny that liberal values and civic education offer the best protection for their own ends. (shrink)
This paper is a homage to Isaiah Berlin. It argues that Berlin's philosophy has preceded many of the present discussions concerning liberalism-culturalism. In an age in which most liberal philosophers ignored the importance of belonging, of member-ship, identity, cultural affiliations and historical continuity, Berlin stands out as a welcome exception. His philosophy is therefore fresh and innovative as it was in the sixties and seventies when it was written. It carries within it the germs of the liberalism of the fringes (...) advocated nowadays by members of national minorities, immigrants, women, and gays, the kind of liberalism which fits well the politics of identity and recognition. (shrink)
Philosophical questions are not like empirical problems, which can be answered by observation or experiment or entitlements from them. Nor are they like mathematical problems which can be settled by deductive methods, like problems in chess or any other rule-governed game or procedure. But questions about the ends of life, about good and evil, about freedom and necessity, about objectivity and relativity, cannot be decided by looking into even the most sophisticated dictionary or the use of empirical or mathematical reasoning. (...) Not to know where to look for the answer is the surest symptom of a philosophical problem.Isaiah BerlinCritics of recent philosophical analyses of nationalism suggest that nationalism is a unique social phenomenon that cannot, and need not, be theorized. Are there, indeed, some special features constitutive of nationalism that might defy theorization? Those answering this question in the affirmative point to the plurality and specificity of national experiences, as well as to the emotional and eclectic nature of nationalist discourse. (shrink)