Nationalism is perhaps the most powerful ideology of the last couple
of centuries. We attempt here to distinguish a number of varieties of
nationalism – liberal, reactionary and radical. There follows a
brief history of nationalism from the pre-Renaissance period to the
twentieth century, after which we consider whether nationalism as an
ideology serves particular political
the name of the nation, and states have disintegrated into bitterness and
conflict as a result.
Nationalism can be very exclusive. Much of the thinking
described in this chapter prizes a solidarity that is strong yet socially
inclusive. In section 1 the issue of solidarity will be explained.
Nationalists argue that solidarity derived from ‘thin’ concepts
like ‘justice’ and ‘utility’ cannot bind people to
In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.
Civilising Rural Ireland examines how modern Ireland emerged out of the social and economic transformation prompted by the rural co-operative movement. The movement emerged in response to systemic economic problems that arose throughout the nineteenth century and coincided with a wide-ranging project of cultural nationalism. Within a short space of time the co-operative movement established a swathe of creameries, agricultural societies and credit societies, leading to a radical reorganisation of rural Ireland and helping to create a distinctive Irish political economy. The work of overlooked co-operative experts is critically examined for the first time and reinserted into the process of state development. The interventions of these organisers, intellectuals and farmers built up key institutions that shaped everyday life across rural communities. The movement weathered war and revolution, to become an indispensable part of an Irish state infrastructure after independence in 1922. The strained relationship and economic rivalry that developed between Irish and British co-operators is also explored in order to illuminate the changing relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom from an economic perspective. Civilising Rural Ireland will appeal to a wide audience interested in modern Irish history and readers are introduced to an eclectic range of personalities who shared an interest in co-operation and whose actions possessed important consequences for the way Ireland developed. The creative use of local and national sources, many of which are examined for the first time, mean the book offers a new perspective on an important period in the making of modern Ireland.
This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.
A civic profession of faith: Rousseau’s and
When Heinrich Heine, the German poet, visited Italy in 1828 he noted in
It is as if World History is seeking to become spiritual … she has a great
task. What it is? It is emancipation. Not just the emancipation of the Irish,
the Greeks, the Jews and the Blacks of the West Indies. No, the emancipation
of the whole world, especially in Europe, where the peoples have reached
maturity. (Heine quoted in Gell 1998: 13)
In seeking national self-determination Heine was preaching a new doctrine,
nationalism the modern age is prone to generate.
The key issue, as Habermas saw it, is that the Volksnation ,
the nation of the people, was a modern democratic invention which crystallised
into ‘an efficient mechanism for repudiating everything regarded as foreign,
for devaluing other nations, and for excluding national, ethnic, and religious
minorities, especially the Jews. In Europe, nationalism became allied with
three points stand out. First, at stake in the exhibition was a break
with the formidable influence of prior nationalist art, especially the
Orientalism of the Bengal School. If the Bengal School configured a
counter-colonial, “pan-Asian” style of narrative painting
as part of Swadeshi nationalism (1905–11), while opposing the
academic naturalism of narrative art, now a newer disposition
other, processes of modernity have frequently imbued with a
specific salience the categories-entities of tradition and culture,
community and identity, turning them into the very stuff of heritage and
history. Unsurprisingly, enunciations and denunciations of history and
interrogations and entitlements of identity have loomed large, even
monstrously, in modern projects of division and unity, from nationalisms
All political argument employs political concepts. They provide the building blocks needed to construct a case for or against a given political position. Justifications of oppression in the name of liberty are no mere products of the liberal imagination, for there are notorious historical examples of their endorsement by authoritarian political leaders. This book explores two approaches to rights: the interest-based (IB) approach, and the obligation-based or Kantian view. Both are shown to offer coherent justifications that can avoid turning all political concerns into a matter of rights. The concept of social justice emerged in both at the start of the twentieth century, and justified institutions for the democratic modification for market outcomes, on utilitarian, maximin or common good grounds. The book explores whether people do in fact have good and justifiable reasons for complying with laws that go beyond mere fear of punishment, and, if so, whether they are bound or obligated by those reasons to comply. It discusses national ties and how they are supposed to act as glue that holds the state together in the eyes of its citizens. The book also explores the link between the weakening of states and this change in criminal policies, and outlines their implications for individual rights. Theorists have used the idea of social exclusion to advocate an approach to social justice that sees increased labour-market participation as the key to equal to citizenship. The contemporary understandings of the public-private distinction and feminist critiques of these are also examined.