*I am grateful to Jeff Miley, Peter Rutland, and Justin Stein for comments on a previous draft, and to Seyla Benhabib, Pratap Mehta and Richard Tuck for comments on sections thereof.
Liberal nationalist versus postnational social integration: on the nation's ethno-cultural particularity and ‘concreteness’*
Version of Record online: 30 JUN 2004
Nations and Nationalism
Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 231–250, July 2004
How to Cite
Abizadeh, A. (2004), Liberal nationalist versus postnational social integration: on the nation's ethno-cultural particularity and ‘concreteness’. Nations and Nationalism, 10: 231–250. doi: 10.1111/j.1354-5078.2004.00165.x
- Issue online: 30 JUN 2004
- Version of Record online: 30 JUN 2004
Abstract. Liberal nationalists advance two claims: (1) an empirical claim that nationalism is functionally indispensable to the viability of liberal democracy (because it is necessary to social integration) and (2) a normative claim that some forms of nationalism are compatible with liberal democratic norms. The empirical claim is often supported, against postnationalists' view that social integration can bypass ethnicity and nationality, by pointing to the inevitable ethnic and cultural particularities of all political institutions. I argue that (1) the argument that ethno-cultural particularity demonstrates the need for nationalist integration depends on an implausible reification of national identity at the level of social theory, and that (2) this reification ironically serves to undermine liberal nationalists' normative claim.