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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Citizenship in this chapter means membership of a state. Nationhood means membership of a “nation”, which is a particular type of cultural and/or ethnic collective. I first set out the reasons that liberals and anti-liberals have given for making citizenship and nationhood coterminous. Second, I describe the major historical and sociological explanations that were advanced for the processes that helped create this overlap, the methods that states and other political agents have adopted to realize it, and the practical and moral obstacles that these agents have always faced. Third, I discuss the positions of contemporary liberals on the issue, including the position I believe to be appropriate. The discussion concludes that the ideal of full overlap between citizenry and nationhood should be rejected both constitutionally and certainly demographically. However, it endorses arrangements allowing for a limited identification of states’ citizenries with one or a few national groups.

Keywords: citizenship, civic nationhood, ethno-cultural nationhood, nation-state, nationalism, minority-rights, multi-culturalism, identity, homeland groups, immigrants, social cohesion

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