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The Limits of Nationalism
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  • Cited by 24
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    The Limits of Nationalism
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Book description

This book discusses the justifications and limits of cultural nationalism from a liberal perspective. Chaim Gans presents a normative typology of nationalist ideologies, distinguishing between cultural liberal nationalism and statist liberal nationalism. Statist nationalisms argue that states have an interest in the cultural homogeneity of their citizenries. Cultural nationalisms argue that people have interests in adhering to their cultures (the adherence thesis) and in sustaining these cultures for generations (the historic thesis). Gans argues that freedom- and identity-based justifications for cultural nationalism common in literature can only support the adherence thesis, while the historical thesis could only be justified by the interest people have in the long-term endurance of their personal and group endeavors. The Limits of Nationalism examines demands often made in the name of cultural nationalism, such as claims for national self-determination, historical rights claims to territories and demands entailed by cultural particularism as opposed to cultural cosmopolitanism.


‘The Limits of Nationalism contains stimulating ideas on some of the normative challenges posed by nationalism.’

Source: Nations and Nationalism

'A great strength of The Limits of Nationalism is the conceptual clarity of Gans' discussion. He makes a series of enlightening analytical distinctions that contribute to existing debates as well as creating the space for his own particular version of liberal nationalism.'

Source: Contemporary Political Theory

'… ranks among the best recent works of liberal nationalist philosophy.'

Source: Ethnic & Racial Studies

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Veit Bader , ‘Citizenship and Exclusion’, Political Theory 23 (1995), 211–46

Yoram Dinstein , ‘Collective Human Rights of Peoples and Minorities’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly 25 (1976), 102–200

Robert Goodin , ‘What Is So Special about Our Fellow Countrymen?’ Ethics 98 (1988), 663–86

Daniel Kofman , ‘Rights of Secession’, Society 35 (1998), 30–7

Andrew Mason , ‘Political Community, Liberal-Nationalism, and the Ethics of Assimilation’, Ethics 109 (1999), 261–86

Richard W. Miller , ‘Cosmopolitan Respect and Patriotic Concern’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 27 (1998), 202–24

Kai Nielsen Cosmopolitan Nationalism’, The Monist 82 (1999), 446–68

Daniel Philpott , ‘In Defense of Self-Determination’, Ethics 105 (1995), 352–85

John A. Simmons , ‘Historical Rights and Fair Shares’, Law and Philosophy 14 (1995), 149–84

Anthony D. Smith , ‘States and Homelands: The Social and Geopolitical Implications of National Territory’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 10 (1981), 187–202

Jeremy Waldron , ‘Theoretical Foundations of Liberalism’, The Philosophical Quarterly 37 (1987), 127–50

Jeremy Waldron Superseding Historic Injustice’, Ethics 103 (1992), 4–28

Christopher Heath Wellman , ‘Relational Facts in Liberal Political Theory: Is There Magic in the Pronoun “My”?’, Ethics 110 (2000), 537–62


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