Defending the Case for Liberal Anationalism
University of Warwick - School of Law
July 25, 2012
Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. XXV(1), January 2012, 97-118
Southampton Law School Research Paper
Relationships are hardly ever one-dimensional. To insist that they are or to make unqualified judgements about them, be they positive or negative, is more often than not a sign of immaturity. They constantly evolve, may be bumpy at times and can even slip into completely unpredictable directions. Additionally, our perception, appreciation and enjoyment of them are variable; time and space mould as well as scold them. Uncertainty, unpredictability and complexity thus characterise all relationships. Amidst uncertainty and complexity, however, we take solace in some basic facts, such as that they do work and that the unique history they generate gives us a fairly good idea as to what we can reasonably expect from them. If they do not work, are based on false premises and exhibit chaotic and repressive tendencies, then we should opt for disentanglement. This is precisely the argument I wish to make in this paper about a very important relationship that has shaped modern constitutional polities and politics; namely, the relationship between liberalism and nationalism.
Although nationalism appears to be so entrenched in political life and discourse, that its illiberal face is often deemed to be an exception and unfortunate coincidence triggered by international terrorism.
Alternatively, it may be depicted as the result of ill-thought policies which can be reversible. In this paper, I argue that liberal nationalism is conceptually flawed and politically illiberal. Illiberal tendencies are an integral part of it and these cannot be corrected by ‘taming’ unruly nationalism or by articulating ‘benign’ adaptations of it. Because the liberal and illiberal faces are interwoven in complex ways, my suggestion is to look far ahead and beyond it.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: citizenship, nationalism, democracy, immigration, liberal nationalism, multliculturalism, diversityAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 26, 2012 ; Last revised: July 27, 2012
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.422 seconds