Concepts, Debates, Identities
Chapter 4: Progressive Polarization of the Contestation over the Modern Form of Patriotism
Chapter 4 Progressive Polarization of the Contestation over the Modern Form of Patriotism The previous chapter focused on three discussions between intellectuals that occurred during the first decade of the democratic transition and which fostered the re-definition of key political concepts, such as fatherland, pat- riotism and nationalism, and the recovery of their meaning after years of communist manipulation. I have shown how these discussions concerning the form of the new regime and the heritage of the former regime signalled the emerging opposition between liberal and conservative positions, but remained open in nature. This situation was to change progressively, following the emergence of a new strong intellectual conservative circle and the growing impact it was to have both on the nature of public debates and on politics. The importance of this circle will be exemplified in this chapter by an analysis of two ‘discursive events’ that fostered the contestation over the concept of patriotism: one that took place in 2000 and the other one between 2005 and 2007. The analysis will show that in the beginning of the second decade of democratic transition the intellectual discussion was still relatively open and deliberative. However, it will also show how the conservatives man- aged to frame their communitarian proposition as the third, ‘modern’ way between liberal universalism and integral nationalism, which they suc- cessfully dismissed as extreme. The initial success of this framing was also to be dependent on the positive reception of their proposition by other intellectuals of more liberal leaning,...
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