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By Paul Gilbert

Wars of nationwide secession and ethnic detoxification, according to the claims of supposedly detailed racial, ethnic, cultural, and nationwide identities, have disfigured fresh years. Probing the roots of those conflicts, this booklet offers the 1st entire survey of the complete diversity of political theories of ethnicity and nationalism.

Paul Gilbert explores the position of identification in configuring modern states. He examines the techniques of race, ethnicity, cultural identification, and nationality, in addition to the suitable political theories, together with liberalism, communitarianism, and postmodernism. He additionally covers extensive the themes of citizenship and migration, multiculturalism and the ethics of secession. His multidisciplinary method could be of worth to these in philosophy, politics, sociology, and cultural reviews.

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This has been recognised . . 17 Kymlicka’s use of the plight of American Indian groups to exemplify the threat reinforces this interpretation of it, for it was with just such indigenous peoples prior to colonial influences that anthropologists were wont to illustrate their functionalist analyses. That functionalism is covertly at work in Kymlicka’s thinking is evidenced also by his argument that national statehood is a justified demand of cultural groups because it protects their members’ cultural contexts of choice.

In some cases these may be fixed as the extent of certain social relationships, though it is important not to inflate what people with a common ethnicity have in common. A group is not necessarily a community in any of the many senses of this term, and an ethnic group need not involve any privileged social relationships. It may, for instance, exist as a group even when its members are widely dispersed among other groups so that such relationships are impossible even though group identification persists and the group is reproduced, perhaps exogamously.

For a language may be thought to provide its speakers with their ideational culture. What are we to understand by this? 22 Publicity is important here. Culture does not consist of the private contents of individual minds, as is 41 PEOPLES, CULTURES AND NATIONS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY sometimes implied by those who contrast the public drawing of group boundaries with the ‘cultural stuff ’ contained therein,23 which may vary from member to member according to their different conceptions of the group.

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