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Liberal Nationalism


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Liberal Nationalism

  1. 2. <ul><li>MUSIC: Italy, Guiseppe Verdi, “Va, pensiero” (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco 1842 </li></ul><ul><li>Liberal nationalism= assumed their ‘nation’ existed in a natural way. In practice, leaders worked hard creating a national sense by emphasising common culture, and focusing on some oppressive external force. </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves’ from the opera Nabucco has great political significance. The composer’s name, V.E.R.D.I became a slogan Vittorio Emmanuale Rei de Italia (&quot;Victor Emmanual, King of Italy“). Reference to Italy’s sole native dynasty and the focus of nationalist hopes for unification with occupied Lombardy. </li></ul><ul><li>England: Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 </li></ul><ul><li>The music here is Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 of 1902. During World War I, it was used as the theme for part of a poem by A. C. Benson (1862-1925) , by the music hall star Marie Lloyd. It was immediately adopted as perhaps the second most sung national song after God Save the King. Perhaps the reason was that it can be sung with much more gusto: </li></ul><ul><li>Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free, How shall we extol thee, Who are born of thee? Wider still and wider Shall thy bounds be set; God, who made thee mighty, Make thee mightier yet. </li></ul>
  2. 3. Yael Tamir. Holds a degree in Liberal Nationalism at Oxford University. Her major book, Liberal Nationalism (Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy ) was first published in 1995. Her aim was to evaluate whether liberal nationalism could be established using the ‘Israeli test-case’. Her proposals are: -nations form the sociological basis of our lives -the prevalent paradigm of political life on the globe today is that of the ‘nation state’ -argues most liberals are de-facto liberal nationalists -liberal nationalism is based on the premise of “&quot;no individual can be context-free, but that all can be free within a context&quot; -national self-determination is the single most important source of political legitimacy in contemporary political life -liberal nationalism is a prescriptive theory. It stipulates the conception of nationalism one ought to adopt rather than describing the range of phenomena normally associated with nationalism -organic interpretations of nationalism that &quot;assume that the identity of the individual is totally constituted by their national membership&quot;, this definition has strong individualistic leanings: 1 st - a premium placed on individual choice of communal identity. Tamir seeks to encourage &quot;agents who acknowledge that their ends are meaningful only within a social context, but who do not necessarily accept socially dictated ends unreflectively“. Second, the right to national self-determination is conceived of as a right belonging to individuals not to a collective: &quot;the fact that we acquire an interest due to our membership in a particular group does not alter its essential nature as an individual interest&quot;
  3. 4. Civic (communitarian) view of the nation Renan – a nation is characterised by the ‘will to live together’ Emphasis on political allegiance as well as cultural unity nations are moral entities – should be treated equally Individuals need national identity to lead meaningful and autonomous lives
  4. 5. <ul><li>Oldest form of nationalism (dating back to the French Revolution) </li></ul><ul><li>Spread quickly through Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Many 21 st century anti-colonial leaders were inspired by liberal ideas – </li></ul><ul><li>Sun Yat-Sen – leader in China </li></ul><ul><li>Nehru – First PM of India </li></ul>Background
  5. 6. Liberal Nationalists <ul><li>Mazzini – ‘prophet’ of Italian unification. Wished to unite the Italian states getting rid of Austrian influence </li></ul><ul><li>Only a democratic republic (like the USA) could be a genuine nation-state </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas shaped by Rousseau who defended popular sovereignty </li></ul><ul><li>Renan – a nation is characterised by the ‘will to live together’ </li></ul>
  6. 7. More Liberal Nationalists <ul><li>Mill – ‘the boundaries of government should coincide in the main with those of nationality’ </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson – adopted nationalist principles for the reconstruction of Europe after WW1 </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson - Democratic nation states would respect the national sovereignty of their neighbours. Wars would no longer occur </li></ul>
  7. 8. Main ideas <ul><li>Nationalism does not divide nations by rivalry and distrust. Capable of promoting unity and brotherhood on the basis of mutual respect </li></ul><ul><li>National self-determination is a means of establishing peaceful international order (Wilson). Creating natural harmony and balance </li></ul>
  8. 9. Main Ideas <ul><li>Oppose all forms of foreign domination (colonial powers and multinational empires). All nations entitles o liberty and rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Equality of nations. Ultimate goal is a world of independent nation-states. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Criticism <ul><li>Romantic and naive ideas- even though their ideas are rational they ignore the irrational bonds that can arise from nationalism e.g. racism, xenophobia and tribalism </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional power of nationalism – times of war (patriotism)- willingness to die or kill for one’s country </li></ul>
  10. 11. Criticism <ul><li>Wilson’s ideas failed to recognise that nations do not always live in convenient geographical areas </li></ul><ul><li>Politically unified and culturally homogenous nations can only be achieved with extreme policies (ban on immigration, deportation of ethnic minorities) Goes against liberal principles of being inclusive. </li></ul>