Concepts, Debates, Identities
Chapter 2: Theoretical, Historical and Political Contextualization of Debates About Patriotism in Poland
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Theoretical, Historical and Political Contextualization of Debates About Patriotism in Poland
The analysis of the debates about the meaning of the concept of patriotism is neither normative, nor does it focus solely on historical or theoretical narratives of outstanding individual thinkers, or on the canon of political theory. Rather, it studies the ubiquity of political thought understood as ‘an elected form of discourse through which a society asks itself philosophical questions about politics,’1 and the variety of conceptual and intellectual arguments deployed within its realm. Prominence is given both to concepts and arguments through which they acquire meaning in specific texts, and to individuals (broadly understood as intelligentsia, intellectuals, or symbolical elites) who create, discuss, write about, and influence ideas (or meanings),2 over time, in various contexts.
The analysis pays attention to the fact that concepts ‘constitute tools and weapons of ideological debate,’3 by putting them in their political and argumentative context. Such a study cannot be detached from a given ← 25 | 26 → polity,4 but needs to be grounded in its (national5) political culture, understood in turn as a ‘“set of discourses” through which members of a political community make claims upon each other and interact politically.’6 This is why this research focuses on Poland and its specific context, and uses the analysis of public debates about the key concept of patriotism led by intellectuals to advance a broader argument about the nature of Polish...
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