Should nationalists be communitarians?

David Archard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


John O’Neill argues in a recent article, ‘Should Communitarians be Nationalists?’, that communitarians are wrong to be committed to the defence of ties of nationhood, both because the nation-state’s rise is associated with the disappearance of the ties of community and because the nation is an illusory community. I argue that the evidence that communitarianism is committed as charged to the defence of nationality is unconvincing. Further, the familiar accusation that the nation is a false or unreal community is neither perspicuous nor obviously true. It is important to evaluate the significance and worth of the nation as a community independently of the nationalist prescription that the nation and the state should coincide. The important question is not whether the political community should be a nation, but what sort of community the nation should be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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