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Civic nationalism, also known as liberal nationalism, is a kind of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in a non-xenophobic form of nationalism compatible with values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights. Ernest Renan and John Stuart Mill are often thought to be early civic nationalists. Civic nationalists often defend the value of national identity by saying that individuals need a national identity in order to lead meaningful, autonomous lives and that democratic polities need national identity in order to function properly.
Civic nationhood is a political identity built around shared citizenship in a liberal-democratic state. Thus, a "civic nation" isn't defined by its language or culture, but by its political institutions and liberal principles, which its citizens pledge to uphold. Membership in the civic nation is open to anyone who shares these values.
A civic nation or state does not aim to promote one culture over another. German philosopher Jürgen Habermas argued that immigrants to a liberal state need not assimilate into the host culture, but only need to accept the principles of the country's Constitution.
Contrasted with "Ethnic nationalism"
Civic nationalism is often contrasted with "ethnic nationalism".
|Civic Nationalism||Ethnic Nationalism|
|Nation characterized by a common law and common Constitution||Nation characterized by common roots or ancestry|
|Membership can be chosen by immigration||Membership is inherited|
|Government is a Pluralist democracy||Government is where the ethnic majority rules over all others|
|Individuals create their nation||The nation creates the individual|
||This section possibly contains original research. (January 2017)|
Civic nationalism is a form of nationalism in which the state derives political legitimacy from the active participation of its citizenry (see popular sovereignty), to the degree that it represents the "general will". It is often seen[by whom?] as originating with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and especially the social contract theories which take their name from his 1762 book The Social Contract.
Civic nationalism lies within the traditions of rationalism and liberalism, but as a form of nationalism it is contrasted with ethnic nationalism. Membership of the civic nation is considered voluntary, as in Ernest Renan's classical definition in "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?" of the nation as a "daily referendum" characterized by the "will to live together". Civic-national ideals influenced the development of representative democracy in countries such as the United States and France (see the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789).
States in which civic forms of nationalism predominate are often (but not always) ex-settler colonies such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, in which ethnic nationalism is difficult to construct on account of the diversity of ethnicities within the state. A notable exception is India where civic nationalism has predominated due to the country's linguistic, religious and ethnic diversity. Civic-nationalist states are often characterized by adoption of the jus soli (law of the soil) for granting citizenship in the country, deeming all persons born within the integral territory of the state citizens and members of the nation, regardless of their parents' origin. This serves to link national identity not with a people but rather with the territory and its history, and the history of previous occupants of the territory unconnected to the current occupants are often appropriated for national myths.
In the United Kingdom, UKIP encourage a form of civic nationalism with more controlled immigration often confused with more sinister forms of nationalism. The SNP and Plaid Cymru, which advocate independence of their respective nations from the United Kingdom, proclaim themselves to be civic nationalist parties, in which they advocate the independence and popular sovereignty of the people living in their nations society, not individual ethnic groups.
In Flanders, Belgium the regionalist New Flemish Alliance is considered the advocate of civic nationalism. Whereas in Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain, parties such as Ciu and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya are the largest two civic nationalist parties. Furthermore, in Spain, there is the Eusko Alkartasuna which is becoming increasingly civic.
Civic nationalism contrasts with more restrictive forms, such as ethnic nationalism.
Civic nationalist parties
- Belgium: New Flemish Alliance
- Hong Kong : Hong Kong Indigenous and Youngspiration
- India: Nationalist Congress Party
- Ireland: Fianna Fáil
- Norway: Centre Party
- Basque Country (Spain): Basque Nationalist Party and the Geroa Bai, elements of EH Bildu
- Catalonia (Spain): Republican Left of Catalonia and the Catalan European Democratic Party
- Galicia (Spain): Galician Nationalist Bloc and the Commitment to Galicia
- Taiwan: Democratic Progressive Party and the New Power Party
- Northern Ireland (United Kingdom): Social Democratic and Labour Party
- Scotland (United Kingdom): Scottish National Party
- UKIP (United Kingdom): UK Independence Party
- Wales (United Kingdom): Plaid Cymru
- New Zealand: New Zealand First
- Tamir, Yael. 1993. Liberal Nationalism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07893-9[page needed]; Will Kymlicka. 1995. Multicultural Citizenship. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-827949-3[page needed]; David Miller. 1995. On Nationality. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-828047-5.
- Renan, Ernest. 1882. "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?"
- Mill, John Stuart. 1861. Considerations on Representative Government.
- "On Liberty and Utilitarianism". Goodreads. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
- Kymlicka, Will. 1995. Multicultural Citizenship. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-827949-3. For criticism, see: Patten, Alan. 1999. "The Autonomy Argument for Liberal Nationalism." Nations and Nationalism. 5(1): 1-17.
- Miller, David. 1995. On Nationality. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-828047-5. For criticism, see: Abizadeh, Arash. 2002. "Does Liberal Democracy Presuppose a Cultural Nation? Four Arguments." American Political Science Review 96 (3): 495-509; Abizadeh, Arash. 2004. "Liberal Nationalist versus Postnational Social Integration." Nations and Nationalism 10(3): 231-250.
- ANNA STILZ. "Civic Nationalism and Language Policy". Philosophy & Public Affairs. 37 (3): 257.
- "Civic Nationalism & Ethnic Nationalism".
- "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?"
- (UKIP protected wiki page)
- Tournier-Sol 2015, p. 146.
- Michael O'Neill (2004). Devolution and British Politics. Pearson/Longman. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-0-582-47274-7.
- Trevor C. Salmon; Mark F. Imber (6 June 2008). Issues In International Relations. Taylor & Francis. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-0-203-92659-8.
- Brubaker, Rogers (2004). Ethnicity Without Groups. Harvad University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0674015398.
- https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Jp-5UtoBtFEC&pg=PA187&dq=%22civic+nationalism%22&hl=en&ei=MN7aTKbvCM-xhQeA3lE&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=%22civic%20nationalism%22&f=false[full citation needed]
- https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=YJ3CrOiJ6wYC&pg=PA140&dq=conservative+%22civic+nationalism%22&hl=en&ei=t9naTJWbAdGahQe3q2A&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CFcQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=conservative%20%22civic%20nationalism%22&f=false[full citation needed]
- "Rekordmåling for Senterpartiet: - Norsk nasjonalisme er en positiv kraft". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 9 February 2017.
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