Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community

Paperback | May 11, 2012

byBernard Yack

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Nationalism is one of modern history’s great surprises. How is it that the nation, a relatively old form of community, has risen to such prominence in an era so strongly identified with the individual? Bernard Yack argues that it is the inadequacy of our understanding of community—and especially the moral psychology that animates it—that has made this question so difficult to answer.
 
Yack develops a broader and more flexible theory of community and shows how to use it in the study of nations and nationalism. What makes nationalism such a powerful and morally problematic force in our lives is the interplay of old feelings of communal loyalty and relatively new beliefs about popular sovereignty. By uncovering this fraught relationship, Yack moves our understanding of nationalism beyond the oft-rehearsed debate between primordialists and modernists, those who exaggerate our loss of individuality and those who underestimate the depth of communal attachments.
A brilliant and compelling book, Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community sets out a revisionist conception of nationalism that cannot be ignored.

 

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 Nationalism is one of modern history’s great surprises. How is it that the nation, a relatively old form of community, has risen to such prominence in an era so strongly identified with the individual? Bernard Yack argues that it is the inadequacy of our understanding of community—and especially the moral psychology that animates it—t...

Bernard Yack is the Lerman-Neubauer Professor of Democracy in the Department of Politics at Brandeis University. He is the author of several books, including The Problems of a Political Animal and Liberalism without Illusions.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:May 11, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226944670

ISBN - 13:9780226944678

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part One
Chapter One. The Myth of the Civic Nation
Chapter Two. The Moral Psychology of Community
Chapter Three. What Then Is a Nation?
Chapter Four. The People, the Nation, and the Nation-State
Chapter Five. Legitimacy and Loyalty: Making Sense of Nationalism
Chapter Six. Popular Sovereignty and the Rise of Nationalism

Part Two
Introduction to Part Two
Chapter Seven. The Moral Value of Contingent Communities
Chapter Eight. National Loyalty and Liberal Principles
Chapter Nine. The Moral Problem with Nationalism
Chapter Ten. What’s Wrong with National Rights to Self-Determination
Chapter Eleven. Cosmopolitan Humility and Its Price
Chapter Twelve. Learning to Live with Nationalism

Conclusion

Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Yack, an eminent political theorist, . . . synthesize[s] many of the debates, clarif[ies] the issues, and offer[s] a more adequate, integrated theory of nationalism. He offers a well-written, sophisticated argument that we need to better understand communities and the ‘moral psychology’ that animates them. . . . For scholars who are working on nationalism, especially theoretical questions concerning morality, this book may be quite useful in trying to conceptualize nations, peoples, and nationalism, or considering the debates between primordialists and modernists, popular democracy and support for illiberal forms of governance.”