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Citizenship and National Identity by David M. Miller

Citizenship and National Identity


Citizenship and National Identity by David M. Miller

A good political community is one whose citizens are actively engaged in deciding their common future together. Bound together by ties of national solidarity, they discover and implement principles of justice that all can share, and in doing so they respect the separate identities of minority groups within the community. In the essays collected in this book, David Miller shows that such an ideal is not only desirable, but feasible. He explains how active citizenship on the republican model differs from liberal citizenship, and why it serves disadvantaged groups better than currently fashionable forms of identity politics. By deliberating freely with one another, citizens can reach decisions on matters of public policy that are both rational and fair. He couples this with a robust defence of the principle of nationality, arguing that a shared national identity is necessary to motivate citizens to work together in the name of justice. Attempts to create transnational forms of citizenship, in Europe and elsewhere, are therefore misguided. He shows that the principle of nationality can accommodate the demands of minority nations, and does not lead to a secessionist free-for-all. And finally he demonstrates that national self-determination need not be achieved at the expense of global justice. This is a powerful statement from a leading political theorist that not only extends our understanding of citizenship, nationality and deliberative democracy, but engages with current political debates about identity politics, minority nationalisms and European integration.


a Millera s book presents a tightly knit theory which engages with many of the most topical concerns of political philosophers. His arguments are characteristically powerful and analytically sophisticated ... Constantly stimulating, the book is a model of lucidity, suitable for students as well as researchers.a Political Studies a Millera s essays are worthy updated to sociological work on citizenship done in the 1950s and 1960s ... and they also provide measured responses to some of the less measured writings on subnational identity.a Choice a In my view, Millera s eloquent defence of nation--based republican citizenship is among the best currently available.a Daniel A. Bell, Times Literary Supplement a It approaches the themes of citizenship and nationality from numerous perspectives ... a commendable collection.a The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest a This is a valuable addition to Millera s valuable corpus. His complex but generally unified theory of politics has genuine differences with most others on the academic scene. In Citizenship and National Identity Miller maes the case for the theorya s unity and politely but vigourously engages with its rivals. Both ascpects of the the collection help clarify the shape and scope of his intellectual project.a American Political Science Review a David Millera s book surely deserves very serious attention: it has to be read, debated and the argument must be prolongued. Devoting extremely stimulating pages on the way by which cultural difference can be understood; refusing any kind of stigmatising image of ethno--cultural diversity; opening the debate for a renewal of the republican conception of the polity; highlighting the complexity as well as the diversity of national phenomena; problematising altogether these issues with a strong theory of citizenship: Citizenship and National Identity enters directly centre stage of the current debate about the meaning of contemporary democratic membership. It really concerns all social and political scientists who are part of this debate, from a huge range of disciplines and perspectives. There is no doubt that this book is likely to become a reference. Innovation -- The European Journal of Social Science Research In Citizenship and National Identity Miller makes the case for the theorya s unity and politely but vigorously engages with its rivals. Both aspects of the collection help clarify the shape and scope of his intellectual project. American Political Science Review Millera s book contains some clesr, well--ordenened discussions of the claims of global justice, the limits of secession, and the nature of deliberative democracy. His discussion of a nested nationalitiesa ... is a welcome addition to the literature of political philosophy on nationality. David Archard, Contemporary Political Theory

About the Author

David Miller is Official Fellow in Social and Political Theory, Nuffield College, Oxford

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Book Info

Publication date

12th May 2000


David M. Miller

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Polity Press


224 pages


Political science & theory



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