Constitutional Patriotism by Jan-Werner Müller

By Jan-Werner Müller

Constitutional Patriotism bargains a brand new concept of citizenship and civic allegiance for latest culturally varied liberal democracies. Rejecting traditional debts of liberal nationalism and cosmopolitanism, Jan-Werner Mller argues for a kind of political belonging situated on universalist norms, tailored for particular constitutional cultures. even as, he offers a singular method of wondering political belonging and the preconditions of democratic legitimacy past the countryside. The publication takes the improvement of the eu Union as a case research, yet its classes practice additionally to the U.S. and different components of the realm. Mller's essay begins with an enticing old account of the origins and unfold of the idea that of constitutional patriotism-the concept that political attachment should heart at the norms and values of a liberal democratic structure instead of a countrywide tradition or the "global human community." In a extra analytical half, he then proposes a severe perception of citizenship that makes room for dissent and civil disobedience whereas taking heavily a polity's want for balance through the years. Mller's conception of constitutional patriotism responds to the demanding situations of the de facto multiculturalism of cutting-edge states--with a few concrete coverage implications approximately immigration and the preconditions for citizenship truly spelled out. And it asks what civic empowerment might suggest in a globalizing international.

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Yet their universalist normative content always exceeds any necessarily particular realization in time. ” This concept, one should hasten to add, does not imply that particularity has to be relentlessly purged, or that religion, tradition, “family values,” and other forms of “conventional morality” are simply superseded; instead, they are, at least partially, reinterpreted in the light of the universalist claims and perspectives that also find expression—however imperfectly—as basic civil rights and as constitutional norms more generally.

Would it have the same practical consequences as liberal nationalism, or “civic nationalism”—a term which has yet to be distinguished from constitutional patriotism? Are all these concepts ultimately interchangeable abstractions, insofar as similar policies could be derived from them? How would one even recognize a “constitutionally patriotic polity”? Could we designate a polity as such, given certain criteria, when the leaders and citizens of that polity don’t actually use the words “constitutional patriotism”?

50 The writer Martin Walser went so far as to attack the concept as “embroidered blankets of solace over the gap of the division” between Germans East and West. ”51 In fact, that fashion appeared to be over for good when Germany was unified in 1990. Habermas himself called for a referendum on unification to make all Germans affirm the new democratic order and to strengthen constitutional patriotism. There were also calls for a proper constitutional convention. Yet, in the end, East Germany acceded to the Federal Republic on the basis of a clause in the existing West German Basic Law; no major revisions were made to the Constitution after years of deliberation by a constitutional commission.

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