Modernity and Minority Nationalism: Commentary on Thomas Franck [Abstract]
Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 11 (1997)
December 4, 1997
Focusing on the nature of modern nationalism, Kymlicka asserts that Franck overstates the dichotomy of so-called romantic tribal nationalism and traditional nationalism as seen in the United States and France, which Franck claims is liberal, inclusive, and based on political principles rather than blood lines. Using examples from France, the United States, and Quebec, Kymlicka shows that language and common identity as well as liberal principles of freedom and democracy compose modern liberal nationalism. More sympathetic to minority nationalism than Franck, Kymlicka argues that minority movements are not irrational but often based upon legitimate claims, claims that majorities frequently fail to take seriously. Kymlicka concludes in agreement with Franck that minority nationalists should have greater representation at the international level, not simply as a means of pacifying minority nationalists but in the interests of international justice.
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