RECON Online Working Paper 2011/07

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Nationalism, Patriotism and Diversity

Conceptualising the National Dimension in Neil MacCormick's Post-Sovereign Constellation


John Erik Fossum (ARENA, University of Oslo)




This paper scrutinises MacCormick’s liberal nationalism. The first issue with which he grapples is how well the post-sovereign constellation can re-configure nationalism through disposing of the exclusivist and suppressive (of regional forms of nationalism) propensities built into the sovereign state. Second, is the question of the status of liberal nationalism in MacCormick’s broader theoretical conception of the post-sovereign constellation. This also raises the issue as to whether there might be other, alternative, modes of allegiance that might be compatible with MacCormick’s general approach to law and politics in the post-sovereign constellation. In the concluding section, it is argued that a cosmopolitan constitutional patriotism might be a more suitable mode of allegiance for the post-sovereign constellation. The potential for harnessing this to a democratic end, the paper argues, is best ensured by building upon the deep insights in MacCormick’s approach, and subsuming them under the theory of constitutional synthesis.



Democracy — Identity — Nation State — Sovereignity



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