Nationalism is a dominating force in contemporary politics, but political philosophers have been markedly reluctant to discuss, let alone endorse, nationalist ideas. In this book David Miller defends the principle of nationality. He argues that national identities are valid sources of personal identity; that we are justified in recognizing special obligations to our co-nationals; that nations have good grounds for wanting to be politically self-determining; but that recognizing the claims of nationality does not entail suppressing other sources of personal identity, such as ethnicity. Finally, he considers the claim that national identities are dissolving in the late twentieth century. This timely and
provocative book offers the most compelling defence to date of nationality from a radical perspective. Series description Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in contemporary political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy, and also work in applied political theory. The series will contain works of outstanding quality with no restriction as to approach or subject matter.
Readership: Scholars and students of political theory, political philosophy, ethnic studies.
David Miller, Official Fellow in Social and Political Theory, Nuffield College, Oxford
"thought provoking ... On Nationality deals with a host of morally urgent problems in an integrated and accessible manner. No better statement of nationalism exists within contemporary political philosophy." - Andrew Williams
"Ambitious, intriguing and elegantly argued ... an original and intriguing defence of the national idea ... a fascinating attempt to discover a point midway between the virulent ethno-nationalism spawned by the former and the sanitized globalism produced by the latter. Neither Bosnia nor the Body Shop should satisfy the liberal conscience." - Times Literary Supplement
"Well-informed inquiry ... Miller displays an impressive grasp of the relevant contemporary literature and a more than passing acquaintance with the history of recent and early modern political theory ... Clearly written and argued, it contributes much to the current focus on nationalism." - Choice
"Sharply argued essay." - Irish Political Studies
"Perhaps a close scrutiny of this book would help us all in finding a way of dealing with the North American tar baby that is Canada." - Montreal Gazette
"This important book is extremely clear and well-argued. It is essentially a book of political philosophy, with an open normative dimension, particularly relevant at a time when nationalism is often demonized ... Miller shows the importance of preserving an overall national identity, albeit a changing one." - International Affairs
"A detailed analysis of the subject matter which is approached in what might be termed a philosophical and epistemological manner illustrated by reference to a range of countries and situations throughout the world." - Talking Politics
"David Miller's book is the most important contribution yet to the growing recent literature on the philosophy of nationalism. It is unfailingly lucid, well argued and, most important controversial. There would be something very wrong with it if it were not. For in this area philosophical analysis and political advocacy are inextricably linked." - Journal of Applied Philosophy
"A lucid, unpretentious and level-headed attempt to explore and defend nationality and nationalism ... It is the most detailed, probing and sensitive of a sudden outpouring of works in a similar vein." - Nations and Nationalism
"a forcible philosophical analysis of the concept of nationality and the ethical problems it unleashes" - The Sunday Times