Illusion of the Peoples: A Critique of National Self-determination

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Lexington Books, 2003 - Philosophy - 261 pages
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The principle of national self-determination is one of the two or three most influential, but least understood, concepts in modern political thought. While recent philosophical examination has failed to look at the concept in any systematic fashion, in this book Omar Dahbour examines all of the arguments that have been given for national self-determination, whether by international lawyers, moral philosophers, democratic theorists, or political communitarians. Without trying to either justify of condemn nation-states, Dahbour attempts to rescue this frequently invoked idea from nationalistic misuse, and applies it to current political struggles against globalization and imperialism.
 

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Contents

Nationalism as Belief and as Doctrine
1
National Identity and Political Autonomy
17
Peoples and Nations in International Law
59
Cultural Rights and the Ethics of SelfDetermination
91
Consent Theory and Democratic SelfDetermination
123
The NationState as an Ethical Community
155
The Contradictions of Liberal Nationalism
195
SelfDetermination without Nationalism
215
Bibliography
231
Index
247
About the Author
261
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About the author (2003)

Omar Dahbour is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College, CUNY. He coedited The Nationalism Reader (with Micheline Ishay, 1995).

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