Deliberating National Identity and Citizenship

Ian O'flynn

in Deliberative Democracy and Divided Societies

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780748621446
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672004 | DOI:
Deliberating National Identity and Citizenship

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines two main forms that national identity might conceivably take. The first of these forms stresses civic institutions, public offices, agencies and officials, as well as common and authoritative rules that typically apply across the territory of a given state. By contrast, the second of these forms stresses the importance of ethnicity and culture, ancestral memories and struggles, and common fears and hopes for the future. The chapter considers how an overarching civic nationality might best be facilitated in a divided society. To this end, the chapter starts by analyzing two normative models of the democratic state: liberalism and republicanism. It then argues that in contrast to liberalism and republicanism, deliberative democracy does not deny the political significance of ethnicity or its relation to the state. Unlike liberalism, deliberative democracy does not rely upon a claim of state neutrality; nor is it precluded from responding institutionally to the claims that ethnic groups make. Unlike republicanism, it does not require the citizens to relegate their ethnicity from the public to the private sphere. Instead, deliberative democracy privileges a proceduralist view according to which a civic national identity is formed and reformed in the light of changing political circumstance.

Keywords: national identity; deliberative democracy; liberalism; republicanism; divided society

Chapter.  10792 words. 

Subjects: Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.