Nationalism has had a complex relation with the discipline of political theory during the 20th century. Political theory has often been deeply uneasy with nationalism in relation to its role in the events leading up to and during the Second World War. Many theorists saw nationalism as an overly narrow and potentially irrationalist doctrine. In essence it embodied a closed vision of the world. This paper focuses on one key contributor to the immediate post-war debate—Karl Popper—who retained deep misgivings about nationalism until the end of his life, and indeed saw the events of the early 1990s (shortly before his death) as a confirmation of this distrust. Popper was one of a number of immediate post war writers, such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who shared this unease with nationalism. They all had a powerful effect on social and political thought in the English-speaking world. Popper particularly articulated a deeply influential perspective which fortuitously encapsulated a cold war mentality in the 1950s. In 2005 Popper’s critical views are doubly interesting, since the last decade has seen a renaissance of nationalist interests. The collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989, and the changing political landscape of international and domestic politics, has seen once again a massive growth of interest in nationalism, particularly from liberal political theorists and a growing, and, at times, immensely enthusiastic academic literature, trying to provide a distinctively benign benediction to nationalism.
Statists claim that robust egalitarian distributive norms only apply between the citizens of a common state. Attempts to defend this claim on nationalist grounds often appeal to the 'associative duties' that citizens owe one another in virtue of their shared national identity. In this paper I argue that the appeal to co-national associative duties in order to defend the statist thesis is unsuccessful. I first develop a credible theory of associative duties. I then argue that although the associative theory can explain why the members of a national community should abide by egalitarian norms, it cannot show that people have a duty to become or to continue as a member of a national community in the first place. The possibility that citizens might exercise their right to reject their national membership undermines the state's ability justifiably to coerce compliance with egalitarian distributive norms and, ultimately, the statist claim itself.
While the rise of populism in Western Europe over the past three decades has received a great deal of attention in the academic and popular literature, less attention has been paid to the rise of its opposite— anti-populism. This short article examines the discursive and stylistic dimensions of the construction and maintenance of the populism/anti-populism divide in Western Europe, paying particular attention to how anti-populists seek to discredit populist leaders, parties and followers. It argues that this divide is increasingly antagonistic, with both sides of the divide putting forward extremely different conceptions of how democracy should operate in the Western European political landscape: one radical and popular, the other liberal. It closes by suggesting that what is subsumed and feared under the label of the “populist threat” to democracy in Western Europe today is less about populism than nationalism and nativism.
A Relationship of Tension
question the social basis of the normative order. Not all nationalisms are equal, after all. Combined with a collectively homogenising belief in ethnicity, nationalism becomes a basis to undo the normative order of democracy. In the terms used by Norbert
From Consociationalism to Deliberation?
nationalism movement, took control over the state in 1963. Saddam Hussein came to power as president in 1979. Shias, despite being a majority in the country, were politically marginalized from the beginning of the existence of the state of Iraq. They were
Kin: Nationalism, Democracy, and the Boundary Problem .” American Political Science Review 106 ( 4 ): 867 – 882 . 10.1017/S0003055412000421 Beckman , Ludvig . 2009 . The Frontiers of Democracy: the Right to Vote and Its Limits . Palgrave
Vincent’s book Nationalism and Particularity ( 2002: 4 ), where he points out that “the communal and tribal fragmentations of, for example, the Balkans, Northern Ireland, Indonesia and Rwanda are not preferable forms of social existence. They are rather
A Letter to Jan Zielonka
; Aamulehti , 25 February 2018). Reporting an incident of this nature certainly represents an act of banal nationalism (with no mechanism of exclusion, though), but it can nonetheless be a force for good: striving for normality, for normal “Finnish” life
SimonMary Aihiokhai, Lorina Buhr, David Moore, and William Jethro Mpofu
deal of what we know about nationalism in Lusophone Africa may have been fabricated’ (4), partly because those in the business of international propaganda had to advertise their success while also playing to both sides in the Cold War, and to the less
that Macdonald is right: this really is the future for a global democracy. It is important to underline just how dramatic Macdonald’s step is, however. Both scholars and politicians, after all, have always underestimated the strength of nationalism