Towards a Complexity of Patriotic Allegiance
Edited By Maciej Hułas and Stanisław Fel
Constitutional Patriotism and the Scottish Referendum.
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The University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Constitutional Patriotism and the Scottish Referendum
Since its first appearance just over a decade ago, Habermas’s constitutional patriotism has inspired a rich and articulate series of theoretical analyses and has indirectly encouraged constitutional projects such as the Constitution for Europe. The popularity of constitutional patriotism among political and constitutional theorists has, however, also generated some confusion over the aims and basic structure of Habermas’s endeavour. For instance, it is unclear whether constitutional patriotism ought to be considered a constitutional or political theory. This paper seeks to clarify some of the misunderstandings surrounding constitutional patriotism. It will contend that the theory is, at its core, a political theory that explains the implications of having a democratically open constitutional polity. It also provides a better understanding of the processes, such as the 2014 Scottish referendum over independence, aimed at re-adjusting the relation between central and regional institutions.
The paper is divided into three sections. The first section introduces Habermas’s theory of constitutional patriotism. I argue that one of constitutional patriotism’s main contributions to current constitutional and political debates is an increased awareness of the democratic and political pluralism. The second section discusses the effect that pluralism should have in a deliberative democracy. In the third section, I discuss the potential contribution that constitutional patriotism might make in the debate over the 2014 Scottish referendum over independence.
Constitutional Patriots Should be democratic Patriots...
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