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Nationalism, Liberalism, and Democracy

Albert W. Dzur
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 1 (Mar., 2002), pp. 191-211
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
DOI: 10.2307/3088071
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088071
Page Count: 21
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Nationalism, Liberalism, and Democracy
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Abstract

Liberal nationalism is an important recent development in political theory that challenges liberals to acknowledge the significance of nationality in people's lives, and its role in the justification and implementation of liberal policies. If liberal nationalists are correct, national identity serves basic human needs and is not only compatible with liberal ideals of equality and individuality, but must be fostered for these ideals to flourish and for the liberal-democratic state to function. In this article I analyze the doctrine of liberal nationalism and argue that it actually points to the significance of democratic action, not national sentiment, for liberal states. Civic ties between citizens engaged in the public domain, such as those articulated by contemporary democratic theorists, have more relevance for addressing the functional requirements of liberal states than the bonds of national identity.

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