The Morality of Nationalism

The Morality of Nationalism

The Morality of Nationalism

The Morality of Nationalism

Synopsis

Nationalism is one of the most intractable political problems in the world today. In this collection of essays, some of today's most eminent political scientists and philosophers address the ethics of nationalism. Rather than focusing on descriptive and prescriptive themes or policy issues, this volume focuses on the deeper moral issues that must be addressed if a policy prescription is to be well grounded. The contributors include Charles Taylor, Will Kymlicka, Thomas Hurka, Allen Buchanan, and Michael Walzer.

Excerpt

Robert McKim &Jeff McMahan

It is incontestable that the resurgence of nationalist sentiment in many areas of the world is one of the most important and least anticipated phenomena of contemporary international politics. People are increasingly conscious of their national identities; they are rediscovering their national histories, pressing for recognition of their distinctness, and making various demands under the banner of national self-determination--for example, demands for the preservation of their cultures and languages, for the right to educate their children in the ways of their ancestors, and often for independent statehood, sometimes with accompanying demands for the expulsion of outsiders from what is regarded as the national homeland. the result, as everyone who can read a newspaper knows, has been a series of struggles--some merely for recognition or enhanced autonomy, others for political dominance, and others still for political separation--that have regularly exploded into violence and atrocious brutality, as, for example, in Bosnia and Chechnya.

To address the problems that contemporary nationalism poses, one must first understand it. There are, however, many dimensions to nationalism and correspondingly many perspectives from which it may be studied. the essays in this volume, all published here for the first time, are intended to illuminate the moral and evaluative dimensions of nationalism. They make no pretense of addressing other issues that are essential to a full understanding. There are, for example, no studies of either past or present instances of nationalism or nationalist conflict, no models for predicting future developments, and no recipes for the prevention or . . .

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