Liberal nationalism and the nationalisation of liberal values


  • *Thanks for comments to Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, two anonymous referees for Nations and Nationalism and the audience at the multidisciplinary conference on culture and justice arranged by the Danish Network for Equality and Pluralism.


ABSTRACT. This article considers whether appeals to ‘national values’ in public discourse and political debate might be a form of nationalism. This theoretical question about the applicability of the category of nationalism faces the objections that political values cannot constitute nationality, and that this is even more so the case when the values in question are liberal, as they often are. Against these objections, it is argued that ‘the nationalisation of liberal values’ may, and in some contexts of immigration and Europeanisation probably do, exhibit ‘boundary mechanisms’ that are among the central features of nationalism. This feature of the nationalisation of liberal values carries both normative and explanatory implications, which relate to the concerns of ‘liberal nationalism’.