A pluri-national state? possibilities and limits of the nation state model to sustain a political community in a globalized world of nations

Autor:Peter Ehret
Cargo:Peter Ehret, PhD student at the Department of Philosophy of Law. University of Granada, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 18071 Granada. milo95@correo.ugr.es.

Although it is founded on the universal rights of its citizens, the concept of the liberal state still resembles the monist nation state when focusing on its application in a political community. Consequently, pluri-nationalism questions the feasibility of liberal theory for the reasoned justification of a political community with free and equal citizens. Further, it addresses a central normative dilemma in liberal theory. On the one hand, liberalism emphasizes citizens’ active role in shaping their conditions for freedom. At the same time, it defends their protection from the public sphere as passive subjects of human rights. As a consequence, liberal theory divides up into a more contextualized view on social actions and an atomistic consideration of society based on positive recognition of abstract rights. In the face of this apparent dichotomy, this paper employs a “third way” between traditional liberal-democratic theory and more “communitarianist” approaches by stressing the significance of the state as the guarantor of a common legal community, which has to address its subjects of law in their individual and collective nature. The insights gained from the discussion on pluri-nationalism will contribute to reconcile these apparently oppositional approaches. It is demonstrated that both – instead of being competing conceptions – are rather two sides of the same coin. Key words: Nation state; liberalism; federalism; pluri-nationalism; Hegel.

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