Timothy Berk 2021
Is nationalism morally defensible, or is it a destructive holdover from our primitive past? Are certain forms of nationalism normatively preferable to others? To what extent are liberals ethically entitled to accommodate the demands and concerns of nationalists? Do the claims of nationality entail a right to independence or autonomy? Can the ‘politics of cultural survival’ justify the state’s protection and promotion of particular national identities? This article will provide an overview of how thinkers have dealt with such problems in the different eras of the study of nationalism.
Nationalism in the history of political thought
Compared to other modern political ideologies, such as liberalism or socialism, nationalism has a dearth of canonical works. As Yack (1996) observes, theoretical works on nationalism have historically consisted of major texts by second rate thinkers, or minor texts by first rate thinkers. Nonetheless, the most significant texts on nationalism produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries continue to shape the contours of many contemporary strands of nationalist thought.
Nationalism makes its first significant appearance in the history of political thought within the republican tradition. While Machiavelli (1469-1527) gestures towards nationalism in his call for Italian unity in the closing chapter of The Prince ( 1994), it is Rousseau (1712-1788) who makes a sustained engagement with the potential of nationalism for republican politics. Rousseau insists that while the Enlightenment’s cosmopolitan ideal of universal benevolence is indeed an admirable disposition, it is achievable perhaps by ‘a few great cosmopolitan souls’ ( 1964, 160). Sympathy or compassion, Rousseau argues, diminishes the further it is extended away from the individual; a steadier political order can be built by channelling the feelings of self-interest and pre-political feelings of kinship than upon abstract obligations to humanity. Rousseau thus turns towards nationalism, which, insofar as it promotes patriotism, emerges as a useful tool for binding citizens to republics. Nationalism ties the citizen’s self-interest and vanity (amour-propre) to the health and prestige of the community – the citizen takes pride both in his nation’s standing in the international sphere and his own standing as a patriot within the community. Rousseau adds that nationalism’s fostering of a strong collective identity contributes towards the struggles of smaller nations such as Poland against foreign conquest and imperial domination. It is important to note that for both Rousseau and Machiavelli, the political community does not exist to further the cause of nationalism, but rather the reverse.
The normative weight attributed to nationalism begins to shift as we turn to another eighteenth-century critique of the Enlightenment, Herder (1744-1803). Herder makes a pluralistic argument in favour of nationalism that would influence twentieth-century thinkers such as Isaiah Berlin and Charles Taylor. Herder argues that a people’s language opens up the world to them in a particular way – as such, different nations have their own particular ways of being that develop throughout the course of their respective histories. Each nation, therefore, has its own genius and its own form of happiness that it should be free to express and pursue. While Herder is critical of the cosmopolitan impulse towards the dissolution of national differences, he nonetheless understands the plurality of nations as participating within a universal humanity, the design of which is known only to God. With Herder, nationalism is therefore no longer simply a means towards promoting patriotism and republican virtue, but a shard of an infinitely diverse divine mosaic, which celebrates the particular without losing sight of the universal (see Herder 1964).
Herder’s romantic (or proto-romantic) nationalism would be taken up and radicalised by Fichte (1762-1814). Fichte’s influential writings on nationalism, the Addresses to the German Nation ( 2009), were originally delivered with the intention of galvanising resistance to the Napoleonic occupation of the German states. He attempted to forge a common German identity among its disparate cities and principalities that could form a united front against Napoleonic France’s imperial ambitions. While Fichte intended German national consciousness to be in the service of national liberty, the work remains controversial for its indulgence in German chauvinism. While Fichte understands language to be the defining marker of the German nation, he insists that German is the only living language in Europe (as opposed to the dead and derivative Latin languages), and attributes a unique metaphysical destiny to the German nation as the saviour of European civilisation and heralds of a new age. The subsequent development of militant right-wing nationalism in Prussia and Germany would, whether fairly or not, cast a long shadow over the reception of Fichte’s political thought, and nationalist thought more generally. Renan (1823-1892) would reject the German tradition of identifying the nation with pre-political attributes such as language (or ethnicity) and instead inspire future civic nationalists by famously characterising the nation as a daily plebiscite (1882).
Mid-twentieth-century thought: The end of nationalism?
By the post-war period nationalism was widely understood as having fulfilled its transitory role in the development of the modern nation state and dissolution of empires, but had outlived its purpose with devastating effects and therefore could no longer be ethically justified.
The tendency is best exemplified by Kohn, whose influential work anticipates the civil/ethnic nationalism binary, and foresees the end of nationalism. Kohn distinguishes between Western (French, British, American) and Eastern (German, Italian, Slavic) nationalism. He writes that the former was grounded on ‘a rational and universal concept of political liberty and the rights of man, looking toward the city of the future’, while the latter is based on an irrational, mystical ‘Volksgeist and its manifestations in literature and folklore, in the mother tongue, and in history’, rooted in the past and committed to the ‘diversity and self-sufficiency of nations’ ( 1960, 574). Kohn argues that nationalism is dangerous because it sets up a fraction of humanity as a whole, challenging the universalism at the heart of Western civilisation. While nationalism may have initially dignified the masses and secured individual liberty and happiness, ‘now it undermines them and subjects them to the exigencies of its continued existence, which seems no longer justified. Once it was a great force of life, spurring on the evolution of mankind; now it may become a dead weight upon the march of humanity’ (20). In particular, fascism pushed the idea of nationalism to its limits, revealing an ethical imperative for humanity to depoliticise nationality and organise itself on a supranational basis (cf. Kedourie 1960).
Berlin, however, was more sceptical of the supposedly inevitable eclipse of nationalism. He criticised the naivete of intellectuals who had predicted that moral and technological progress would inevitably erase national borders, while morality would increasingly come to be founded upon universal rational principles. Influenced by Herder, Berlin was committed to a philosophical pluralism; he thought there was no one correct way of understanding the world or of finding happiness within it. He also agreed that our need to belong to a community or collective unit is a ‘basic human need or desire’, which he thought was best served by nationalism in modern mass democracies. Hence, Berlin could follow Herder in envisioning a nationalism that embodied and respected cultural pluralism as something to be valued. Nonetheless, Berlin was also keenly aware of the dangers of nationalism. Populist politicians, for example, often exploit or foster national grievances to serve their own ends. In such cases, the ‘bent twig’ of a pluralistic nationalism all too easily snaps. These dangers do not mean, however, that nationalism can be abandoned. Berlin maintains that any political movement will be unlikely to succeed in the twentieth century if it does not ally itself to nationalist sentiment, and that we must pay much greater attention to nationalism, so as to avoid the fate of those who ‘failed to foresee’ the development of nationalism and ‘paid for it with their liberty, indeed with their lives’ (Berlin 1979, 425).
Liberal nationalism, civic nationalism, and their critics
The late twentieth century saw a new wave of political theorists take up the topic of nationalism. This uptick was related to two major trends, both of which put doubt to the idea that nationalism was simply a passing phase on the road to cosmopolitanism: [i] the development of communitarian political philosophy in the 1980s and 90s (Sandel  1998; Taylor 1985; MacIntyre 1981; 1984; Walzer 1983; cf. Anderson  2006), which understands individuals as members of a particular political community, whose ability to live a meaningful ethical life is dependent on their being situated within the context of a particular language and culture; and [ii] the rise of nationalist movements in communist and post-communist countries, as well as national separatists movements in Quebec and Western Europe.
Spurred by these two developments liberal nationalists sought to limit the dangers of the re-emergent nationalism through appeals to liberal norms and values, while also using communitarian and nationalist insights to enrich liberal thought (Tamir 1993; Miller 1995; 2000). Rejecting the liberal and cosmopolitan claims that nationalism is an inherently irrational force, they argue that nationality should be granted normative weight in the way we think about a wide range of political issues, including (but not limited to) the legitimate boundaries of political communities, the right to national self-determination, cultural preservation and promotion, citizenship, the rights of cultural minorities, and the scope of duties to those outside one’s own borders. They attempted to bridge the apparent divide between liberalism and nationalism by acknowledging the importance of ‘belonging, membership, and cultural affiliations, as well as the particular moral commitments that follow from them’ on the one hand, and ‘the value of personal autonomy and individual rights and freedoms’ as well as ‘a commitment for social justice both between and within nations’ on the other (Tamir 1993, 6). Tamir, for example, defines a liberal national entity as one that endorses liberal principles of distribution (of goods and public offices) and individual rights both within the community and between other nations, with a public space reflective of the national culture and its overlapping consensus of values (while still granting individuals a choice between cultures available within the state).
In opposition, civic nationalists (Habermas 1992; Ignatieff 1993) attempted to conceptualise a form of nationalism dependent upon political (rather than cultural) commitment towards the nation’s (liberal) institutions and principles. Habermas argues against communitarian theories of citizenship that claim that meaningful, active citizenship requires a strong national identity informed by ethnic or cultural ties, confined within national borders. While the nation originally referred to a pre-political entity defined by ethnicity and culture, it has since been transformed to refer to a political nation of citizens ‘who actively exercise their civil rights’ in common (1992, 3). Habermas therefore argues that political culture must be the basis of what he calls ‘constitutional patriotism’, which replaces cultural/ethnic identity as the source civic identification.
Liberal nationalists in Canada expressed scepticism towards civic nationalist claims (Kymlicka 1995; Taylor 1994). Anticipating Canovan (1996) and Yack’s critique (1996; 2001) that the civic nation is an ethnocentric myth obscuring the ethnic bases that continue to inform ‘Western’ or ‘civic’ nationalism, these thinkers claimed that even supposedly liberal political institutions inevitably betray certain ethnic/cultural origins, whether through the adoption of official languages or historically and culturally conditioned conceptions of justice or the good. For liberal nationalists, this meant recognising, accepting, and accommodating the fact that elements of cultural or ethnic nationalism cannot be overcome through appeals to a purely civic nationalism or constitutional patriotism. They therefore advocated making peace with the nationalist bases of liberal states through various means, such as increased accommodation and state support of the national culture and political rights of ‘minority nations’, such as Quebec, in the interest of both liberal conceptions of fairness and equality between individuals and groups, and communitarian understandings of the importance of the recognition, and even preservation, of collective identities to a member’s freedom and well-being. These strategies will be discussed further in the following section.
Critics of both civic and liberal nationalism, on the other hand, highlighted the difficulty of preventing the bent twig of civic or liberal nationalism from reverting to liberalism or snapping in the direction of ethnic nationalism (Weinstock 1996; Canovan 1996; Yack 1996; 2001; Beiner 1999; Moore 2001; Frost 2006). In other words, many scholars of nationalism were sceptical of the possibility of creating a normatively or morally acceptable form of nationalism in the guise of either civic or liberal nationalism. Weinstock, for example, maintains that both civic and liberal nationalism contain tensions that will cause them to collapse into either ethnic nationalism or liberal cultural neutrality (1996, 96). This is because nationalists must either dissociate a community’s values from their roots in a shared history and tradition, or narrow or ‘ethnicise’ the conditions of immigration or membership into the nation in order to preserve a national identity. The civic nationalist solution dissolves the distinctive content that animates nationalism, while the liberal nationalist solution ultimately supports a more closed and problematic form of nationalism. Frost (2006) argues that the failed attempt to bifurcate civic and ethnic nationalism, or politics and culture, had caused the liberal nationalist literature to reach an impasse.
Nationalist approaches to policy
While the possibility of a ‘civic’ or ‘liberal’ nationalism plays an important role in the willingness or unwillingness of theorists to turn a sympathetic eye towards the normative claims of nationalism, we must also consider the specific political claims and controversies that animate the normative literature on nationalism. Most importantly, the literature asks how much normative weight should we give to nationalist claims of a right to sub-state autonomy, secession or independence? To what extent can the claims of nationality justify state promotion of particular national identities or the restriction of multicultural policy?
With regard to the first set of questions, nationalists claim that the boundaries of a state should be congruent with that of the nation (Gellner 1983). Hence, once a population begins to conceive of or imagine themselves as a nation, demands for statehood or greater autonomy often follow. Liberal nationalists are sympathetic to these claims. They claim that nations, whether fabricated or organic, civil or ethnic, are real entities that serve as the locus of its individual’s loyalty, identity and freedom, and thus deserve or require political expression and protection. The question for nationalists is therefore not whether nationality grants a right to political representation, but rather: do the claims of nationhood demand secession and independence, or can they be satisfied by increased autonomy within a multinational state?
Kymlicka (1995), for example, thinks that while national identity does supply normative grounds for independence, he shares Gellner’s concern (1983) that the disparity between the number of recognised ‘nations’ and ‘states’ is ultimately so great, that the recognition of each nation’s right to national sovereignty would destabilise the world order. Here the need for peace and stable governance limits the full right to national sovereignty, which are retained as a compromise in the form rights of greater autonomy for national minorities within a multinational state. He therefore advocates increased accommodation and state support of ‘minority nations’, such as Quebec, through asymmetrical federalism. Not everyone agreed with Kymlicka’s compromise. Walzer, for instance, thinks that concerns over destabilisation are either overwrought or insufficient to delegitimise nationalist aspirations for independence or self-governance; that ‘justice… doesn’t seem to permit the kinds of coercion necessary’ to keep unwilling national groups united within a single state’ ( 1999, 207). Walzer even goes so far as to liken liberal support for the multinational state to the defence of the old multinational empires. Taylor (1994), on the other hand, promotes an asymmetrical federalism similar to Kymlicka’s, but does so out of a normative commitment to the ‘deep diversity’ embodied by multinational states. For Taylor, national independence should only be sought for when the aspiration towards the mutual recognition of members of a multinational state becomes impossible. Gans also prefers sub-state autonomy to independence, claiming nationality legitimises sub-state claims to ‘self-preservation and collective self-rule’, but not necessarily statist claims to sovereignty over a territory (2003, 4). Miller (1995), meanwhile, is critical of multinational federalism and thinks that the necessity of a singular national identity necessitates the assimilation of national minorities, who for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to seek national independence, into a broader national identity that has been transformed so that national minorities are included.
Given the normative weight liberal nationalists attribute to the nation as a source of identity, a horizon of meaning, the context of choice that make individual freedom, a rich meaningful life, and collective solidarity possible, it is perhaps unsurprising that liberal nationalists think that national majorities and national minorities have stronger claims to the public protection or promotion of national or cultural identities than non-national minorities. Hence, they are willing to put limits on state policies of multiculturalism, or the policy of state neutrality towards the diverse array of ethnic communities within a nation-state. We have already seen that authors such as Taylor, Kymlicka, and Yack think that the possibility of state neutrality towards cultures is a myth; the state always uses (and hence promotes) the language, symbols and conceptions of justice of its majority nation, hence liberal conceptions of fairness requires that the state also promote the culture of its national minorities. While this very same promotion of cultural difference can and often does extend towards multicultural groups, liberal nationalists curtail state promotion or recognition of multicultural or ‘non-national’ identities when there is a perceived need for the cultural preservation of its national communities.
Miller, in particular, challenges the ethical imperatives of cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism, finding them to be in tension with the preservation of national identities. He is concerned that their ‘quest for cultural diversity may turn out to be self‐defeating, because as cultures become more accessible to outsiders they also begin to lose their depth and their distinctive character’ (1995, 186). Miller laments this process of national erosion as he thinks it will mean that: [a] citizens will lose their access to a ‘rich common culture’; [b] non-elites will become increasingly vulnerable to the vagaries of the world market or economy; and [c] the civil solidarity necessary for the maintenance of re-distributive social program will be undermined.1Cf. Kymlicka, Johnson et al. 2010, which uses data to challenge this last assumption. Weinstock (1996) also critiques Miller’s argument, claiming that the liberal idea of a legal right to redistribution is a sturdier basis for redistribution than nationalist fellow-feeling or sentiment. This scepticism of the need for modern states to be undergirded by national fellow-feeling or sentiment is shared by Mason (1999), who thinks a sense of belonging-together can be inculcated through public recognition and accommodation of non-‘majority’ communities. As a result, he argues that the state is justified in discriminating in favour of a shared national culture (whether it be a language, a musical tradition, a landscape, etc.) through the allocation of funds or education in a school curriculum.
Nonetheless, despite a willingness to prioritise, promote, and protect national cultures and identities, liberal nationalists or communitarian political theorists still insist on the need to provide limits to the promotion of nationality – they do not believe that national majorities have an unlimited right, or can to do whatever it takes to promote or protect their nationality. As Taylor (1994) insists, the politics of ‘cultural survival’ cannot breach the fundamental ‘rights and immunities’ of its citizens. Thus Taylor approves of Quebec’s language and sign laws, which only infringed on the ‘privileges’ of its Anglophone minority, but would not approve of the breach of the basic rights of individuals. Gans (2003), meanwhile, extends the right to linguistic and cultural preservation to justify policies of ‘nationality based priorities in immigration’, such as prioritising French-speaking immigrants, but only extends this right to the extent that it serves practical rather than symbolic purposes, i.e. that it ensures critical mass for the public use of a language, rather than to project and preserve power (cf. Carens 2000, ch. 5). Lastly, even if the nation is conceived of as ‘cultural’ or ‘historical’ rather than strictly ‘political’ (i.e. ‘civic’ or ‘constitutional’ nationalism), the identity of the nation must not be so thick that it excludes its citizens: it must be flexible enough that all citizens have an opportunity to identify themselves with it, and it must be able to be continually interpreted anew (Tamir 1993; Miller 1995; Kaufmann 2000; Frost 2006; Goodhart 2006; Modood 2013).2See Mason 1999 and Patten 1999 for a critique of the coherence of the liberal nationalist attempt to use liberal principles to justify nationalist policies of cultural preservation.
Responses to the Resurgence of Populist Nationalism
The normative study of nationalism took on increasing urgency following 2016. The electoral success of Brexit and Trump, as well as the rise in popularity of far-right parties across Europe, all contributed to the perception of nationalism as a legitimate threat or alternative to liberalism.
Hazony’s The Virtue of Nationalism (2018), represents the contemporary shift within mainstream conservatism away from neoliberalism towards a populist variety of nationalism. The book makes a full-fledged defence of the re-emergent nationalism, celebrating it as a noble stand against cosmopolitan imperialism, or ‘globalism’. He claims that nationalism and globalism are the fault lines of contemporary politics, and that we cannot avoid choosing between the two principles: ‘Either you support, in principle, the ideal of an international government or regime that imposes its will on subject nations when its officials regard this as necessary: or you believe that nations should be free to set their own course in the absence of such an international government or regime’ (2018, 3). Whereas liberalism focuses too narrowly on economics and security, nationalism recognises that nations provide citizens with an organic source of loyalty from that citizens derive duties and exercise the virtues necessary for liberty and self-determination.
While Tamir is less enthusiastic about the normative possibilities opened by the resurgence of nationalism, she also thinks of the new nationalism as a rational response to excesses of globalisation. In Why Nationalism (2019) she argues that political preferences along the ‘globalist’-nationalist divide are informed by social and economic class preferences. Thus, far from being a return of unreason, the return of nationalism is a rational and morally legitimate desire among those dispossessed by the globalisation of the economy to seek a new social contract to answer to their needs. The task then is to ‘stop the ideological pendulum half way’ between ‘neoliberal hyperglobalism’ and ‘extreme right-wing nationalism’, by nurturing a ‘committed nationalism… of mutual responsibility that places fellow nationals at the top of one’s social priorities’ and reestablishes solidarity between class lines while respecting liberal norms (182, 173).
Elsewhere, Tamir admits that the resurgence of nationalism can be attributed to a backlash against multiculturalism (cf. Goodhart 2006; Joppke 2017). She outlines five stages of nationalism: from  the birth of a nation, where nation building projects are necessary, to  banal nationalism where the benefits of the nation building project has solidified and ‘the national-cultural background turns transparent’ (Tamir 2019b, 428). This is followed by the stages of  multiculturalism and  diversity, where the national ‘majority’ accommodate and give representation to the rights and interests of non-majority identities, culminating in the goal of superseding the nation as such. Tamir thinks we are now in a fifth stage , ‘post-diversity’, in which the ‘majority’ nation finds diversity threatening and the ‘balance of power tilts back from diversity to homogenization’, as members becoming anxious of losing the benefits they gained in the first and second phases of nationalism. This phase is exacerbated (but cannot be entirely explained) by economic instability and austerity, and can occur in supposedly ‘civic’ nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom, which ultimately ‘carry a cultural inheritance born in the period of nation building’ (2019b, 429). Accordingly, times of homogeneity and stability will be more comfortable with diversity than periods of diversity and instability. Tamir concludes that ‘civic’ nationalism or ‘constitutional patriotism’ cannot serve as panaceas for the dangers of nationalism because ‘they offer far too thin a basis for social and political cooperation. This is why nationalism keeps coming back, pushing civic ideals aside, and making its way to centre stage. Those who know how to meet the needs it presents will be the winners of the coming decades’ (433).3Cf. Modood’s argument (2013, ch.6) that multicultural citizenship needs to be buttressed by an inclusive national identity that does not erase the thicker cultural identities of either its ‘majority’ or ‘minority’ identity groups, but rather integrates both. Modood thinks that the appeal to nationalism is necessary, in part, because of his shared scepticism of constitutional patriotism and cosmopolitanism, which he thinks are not ‘affective enough for most people, especially the relatively non-political, and especially at times of crisis. They are unlikely to hold people together and to give them the confidence and optimism to see through the present crisis of multiculturalism’ (137). For a similar argument, see Goodhart 2006.
Nodia (2017) agrees that modern liberal democracies should attempt to limit rather than root out nationalist populist movements. He reasons that populism is endogenous rather than exogenous to democracy; we cannot get rid of nationalism or populism without getting rid of democracy itself (cf. Taylor 1997; Yack 2001). Democracy refers to the Latin populus or Greek demos, which modern democracies understand as the nation (Volk). Rebellions of the people against elites, he concludes, are ‘part of the ethos of democracy’ (Nodia 2017, 15). Nodia has no specifics on how to counter this threat, but insists that ‘if we want to preserve, develop, and advance liberal democracy, we must recognize democracy for what it is. We must stop trying to free democracy from the will of the people, and from the propensity that those same people have to care more for their homelands, traditions, and beliefs than for the homeland’s traditions, and beliefs of others. Efforts to ‘liberate’ democracy from the people… will only generate more ‘populist’ reactions by even more angry majorities, leading to outcomes that none of us is going to like’ (18).
Other thinkers hope that the most recent wave of nationalism can be kept in check by supplanting ethnic narratives of national identity with civic ones. They argue that since nationalism is not natural, but instead a specifically modern understanding of collective identity, national identity itself must be malleable. Mounk (2018) and Braunstein (2018), for example, seek to counter Trump’s promotion of an ethnic/white conception of American national identity with a rhetoric that reframes the nation as an inclusive community. Fukuyama, meanwhile, recommends a return to the politics of the recognition of universal dignity, based around a unifying identity, to stem the tide of the identity politics of ‘resentment,’ which he claims now fuels both the political right and left. Fukuyama argues that we can attain these more comprehensive and unifying identities by promoting ‘creedal national identities built around the foundational ideas of modern democracies’ while pursuing policies that assimilate individuals around these identities (2018, 166).
More controversially, Kaufmann argues that the new nationalism is driven by demographic anxieties, and maintains that rather than eradicating the centrality of ethnicity, we must make it a more open and accessible category. He claims that civic nationalism is unable to ‘address the anxieties of conservative voters’ or ‘provide deep identity in everyday life,’ while ethnic nationalism is so restrictive that it is ‘clearly a non-starter’ (2018, 10-11). Instead, Kaufmann embraces what he calls ‘ethno-traditional nationhood,’ which ‘values the ethnic majority as an important component of the nation alongside other groups,’ who are welcomed into the majority ethnic group by identifying with its history and values (cf. Kaufmann 2000). He cites the examples of how Irish and Italian immigrants were assimilated into a broader ‘white’ American ethnicity that maintained WASP ethnic symbols, or Trump’s Latino or Asian supporters who value white ethnic symbols as important to their own national identity. Kaufmann thus thinks a voluntary assimilationist solution can alleviate conservative anxiety by allowing them to see a future for themselves and their ethnic traditions despite inevitable demographic changes. To make this possible, he advocates slowing immigration to a level where immigrants are able to ‘voluntarily assimilate into the ethnic majority, maintaining the white ethno-tradition.’ Kauffmann’s compromise of reduced levels of immigration is shared by many other recent writers, including Mounk, Tamir, and Fukuyama.
This begs the ethical question as to whether the latest wave of scholarship has been too ready to compromise with the demands of ethnic/white nationalists. Will the attempt by theorists to assuage ethno-nationalist anxieties ultimately end up legitimising far-right discourse? Moreover, it is unclear whether questions previously raised by critics as to whether a liberal nationalism can avoid sliding into an excessively closed, chauvinistic, and discriminatory form of nationalism once set into practice have been adequately addressed. Scholars should keep these questions in mind lest they inadvertently provide normative resources for the very ethno-nationalism they wish to keep in check.
- 1Cf. Kymlicka, Johnson et al. 2010, which uses data to challenge this last assumption. Weinstock (1996) also critiques Miller’s argument, claiming that the liberal idea of a legal right to redistribution is a sturdier basis for redistribution than nationalist fellow-feeling or sentiment. This scepticism of the need for modern states to be undergirded by national fellow-feeling or sentiment is shared by Mason (1999), who thinks a sense of belonging-together can be inculcated through public recognition and accommodation of non-‘majority’ communities.
- 2See Mason 1999 and Patten 1999 for a critique of the coherence of the liberal nationalist attempt to use liberal principles to justify nationalist policies of cultural preservation.
- 3Cf. Modood’s argument (2013, ch.6) that multicultural citizenship needs to be buttressed by an inclusive national identity that does not erase the thicker cultural identities of either its ‘majority’ or ‘minority’ identity groups, but rather integrates both. Modood thinks that the appeal to nationalism is necessary, in part, because of his shared scepticism of constitutional patriotism and cosmopolitanism, which he thinks are not ‘affective enough for most people, especially the relatively non-political, and especially at times of crisis. They are unlikely to hold people together and to give them the confidence and optimism to see through the present crisis of multiculturalism’ (137). For a similar argument, see Goodhart 2006.