Forging Identities: The Politics and Ethics of Nation‐building

Wayne Norman

in Negotiating Nationalism

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780198293354
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604126 | DOI:
Forging Identities: The Politics and Ethics of Nation‐building

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What should political actors and state institutions be permitted, encouraged, required, or forbidden to do in the attempt to shape people’s national identities? This is the central question in the ethics of nation-building, and has been vastly understudied in recent normative political theories of nationalism. This chapter answers this question by discussing more than a dozen components of an individual’s national identity. It considers the many legitimate and illegitimate ways in which political actors and the state can shape or alter these components, and the content of the identity itself. It also considers the soundness and relevance of the seemly age-old distinction between so-called ethnic and civic national identities.

Keywords: self-determination; national identity; national engineering; ethnic nationalism; civic nationalism; liberalism; basic rights

Chapter.  22663 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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