Nation and Identity

Nation and Identity

Nation and Identity

Nation and Identity

Synopsis

Nation and Identity provides a concise and comprehensive account of the place of national identity in modern life. Ross Poole argues that the nation became a fundamental organising principle of social, political and moral life during the period of early modernity and that is has provided the organising principle of much liberal, republican and democratic thought.Ross Poole offers us a new and urgently needed analysis of the concept of identity, arguing that we are now in a position to envisage the end of nationalism. We see that the impact of issues like multiculturalism, republicanism, and indigenous rights have made it very difficult to see how the possibility of a postnational cosmopolitanism could not degenerate into a nihilistic moral universe. Nation and Identity will be a fascinating read for all those interested in issues of national identity, both politically and philosophically.

Excerpt

Although this is a rather short book it has taken me a long time to write it, and I have incurred many debts on the way. It is easiest to begin with the institutional ones. in 1994, I spent a productive and enjoyable period in the stimulating environment of the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University. the University Center and Graduate School of the City University of New York provided me with an academic base during the very exciting year I spent in New York in 1995. My thanks are due to the staff of both these places for their friendliness, helpfulness and efficiency. At my own University, my fellow members of the Philosophy Department have always been supportive of my research, tolerant of my absences, and understanding of the conflict between the demands of research and those of administration, particularly in the period when I was Head of Department. I could not imagine a better group of colleagues. Over a long period, the Philosophy Department’s Administrative Officer, Sandra Dunn, has taken on burdens well beyond her formal responsibilities in order to make the academic life of myself and my colleagues easier. More recently, this tradition has been continued by Jane Farquhar. My very great thanks to both of them.

The Research Office at Macquarie, the Research Committee of the School of History, Philosophy and Politics, and the Australian Research Council, have all shown faith in my work by supporting research assistance, teaching release and travel. I hope this book justifies that faith.

Over the years in which I have been thinking about nationalism, I have given seminars and courses, read papers at and attended conferences, and participated in formal and informal discussions on most of the topics discussed in this book. I cannot now remember all the people from whom I have learned something which has found its way into this book. I am uncomfortably aware that some of the views

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