Nationalism and Beyond

Introducing Moral Debate about Values
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-11-4
cloth
$75.00 / €65.00 / £60.00
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-12-1
paperback
$24.95 / €20.00 / £18.00
Publication date: 
2001
270 pages

A very readable introduction to the concepts and principles shaping the philosophical debate around nationalism. The book provides portraits of two kinds of nationalists: the tougher type, more common in everyday life, and the ultra-moderate "liberal nationalist" encountered in academia. The author introduces a debate with a "thoughtful nationalist," one who defends the view that states should be organized around national culture and that individuals have basic obligations to their nation. The author attempts to answer his opponent's standard arguments and presents a fully documented critique of his views.

A passion born from Miscevic's encounter with nationalism in the former Yugoslavia glows from every line of the argument. Questions raised and discussed include: Why is radicalism typical of nationalism? How successful is the nation-state? Does nationalism support liberal-democratic values? Is membership in a nation necessary for human fulfillment and for understanding values? Why might nationalism be immoral?

The book is unique not only because it explains a contemporary moral debate, in terms clear to the non-philosopher reader, but also because it has been written from the perspective of Central and Eastern Europe based on the author's personal experience.

Professor Miscevic is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy, of which he was president until 1999. He has lectured as invited professor at various universities including CREA in Paris, the Institute for International Studies in Geneva, the Institute of Federalism in Fribourg, as well as at the universities of Memphis, Graz (Austria) and Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic).

PREFACE
PART ONE: NATIONALISM AS A POLITICAL PROGRAM

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
What the debate is about
The concept of “nation”

CHAPTER TWO: PORTRAYING NATIONALISM
A rough sketch
Finessing the portrait: two kinds of nationalists

CHAPTER THREE. THE INVIDIOUS NATIONALIST
Why is radicalism typical for nationalism?

CHAPTER FOUR: THE EVEN-HANDED NATIONALIST: SUMMARIZING THE ARGUMENTS
Introducing our interlocutor
How to defend nationalist claims?

CHAPTER FIVE: THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
Introduction
Secession at will
The costs of secession

CHAPTER SIX: THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE
Preventing and redressing the injustices
The limitations of self-defense

CHAPTER SEVEN: HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THE NATION-STATE?
A historical success-story
Promises, promises

CHAPTER EIGHT: DOES NATIONALISM SUPPORT LIBERAL-DEMOCRATIC VALUES?
A source of democratic energy
Equality, democracy and freedom

CHAPTER NINE: POLITICAL ALTERNTIVES TO NATIONALISM

PART TWO: IDENTITY, CULTURE AND TRADITION

CHAPTER TEN: NATION AND CULTURE

CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE GENERAL VALUE OF CULTURE
The idea of cultural traditions
Replying to the nationalist
What is so special about ethno-national traits?
Why the nationalist should not appeal to cultural proximity?

CHAPTER TWELVE: IS MEMBERSHIP IN A NATION NECESSARY FOR HUMAN FLOURISHING AND FOR UNDERSTANDING OF VALUES?
What the nation has to offer
A pluralist view of traditions
Tradition and convention
How to understand a tradition from outside

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: NATIONAL TRADITION AS THE SCHOOL OF MORALS
Thick and thin morality
Are there national moralities?
Is the purity of tradition a virtue?

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: IS NATIONAL IDENTITY ESSENTIAL FOR THE IDENTITY
OF PERSONS
“Stable nation produces stable individuals”
Toward a pluralism of identities
A misplaced analogy
How good is nation at providing identities?

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THE VALUE OF DIVERSITY

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: ANTI-COSMOPOLITAN ARGUMENT

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: RECAPITULATION: NATIONALISM AGAINST CULTURE

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: THE ULTRA-MODERATE “NATIONALISM”

PART THREE: CONCLUSION

CHAPTER NINETEEN: WHY NATIONALISM MIGHT BE IMMORAL?

CHAPTER TWENTY: PLURALISTIC COSMOPOLITANISM

BIBLIOGRAPHY

"On the rather dusty shelf of studies on nationalism, Miscevic’s book undoubtedly stands out. It is an audacious, entertaining and at times rather brilliant critique of nationalism as a political programme."
"...a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the moral debate on nationalism... the book contains a wealth of witty examples and analogies, a reflection of the author's philosophical background, which turns the process of reading into an enjoyable experience. Overall, Nationalism and Beyond is a refreshing contribution to a field dominated by pro-nationalist analyses and an important intervention in the subject. In a world of nations and nationalisms, Miscevic does not hesitate to take the bull by the horns and this in itself is a major accomplishment."