Wished-for and Unwished-for Identities
Why does Liberalism not actually oppose the Nation-State?
Numerous research of political science and contemporary historiography which one may consider as being within the overarching framework of a scientific trend have formulated and consolidated the theory that the nation, as it is encapsulated within the concept of the “nation state”, was and still is a political idea which finds itself far from the liberal ideology1. Moreover, such research has created the impression that there is a historical opposition between the liberal and the national political positions and, in other words, between liberalism and nationalism2. In this essay I will try to sketch some general arguments in order to invalidate the thesis of the conceptual incompatibility between liberal and national principles and in order to demonstrate that the theory according to which national liberalism was and still is possible is sustainable by at least as many arguments as the theory of the opposition between the nation and liberalism. The usefulness of such a demonstration is considerable, not only for researchers concerned with conceptual clarifications, but also for those who are interested in studying the relations between the ideological dimensions and the practice of politics.
In the following pages I will first show that the two conceptions liberal and national do belong to the same modern and democratic vision of societal organisation, as they mutually share constitutive ideational elements. Then, I will demonstrate that the thesis of an opposition between the two political concepts is based upon...
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