Inward and Outward Patriotism

Marianna Papastephanou


Much current philosophical discourse on patriotism either adopts an apologetic approach to patriotic sentiment or rejects it wholesale. When this discourse clings on some notion of patriotism it differentiates it from nationalism and tries to avoid the ideological baggage and socio-theoretical cost that accompanies the love of a specific collectivity: it responds to criticisms of nationalism by turning to what can be called ‘inward’ patriotism. However, in doing so, it typically dispenses with ‘outward’ patriotism. The latter is then totally conceded to aggressive and regressive nationalism. This move is accompanied with a related shift from ethnic to civic patriotism. The present article aims to expose the problems of such moves and to defend the need for more conceptual work. It retrieves a cautious outward patriotism for the sake of a fully-fledged patriotism that is compatible with, and even conducive to, cosmopolitanism. Nothing blocks this fully-fledged patriotism from being self-critical to the collectivity’s treatment of outsiders. On the contrary, it is argued, outward patriotism can make patriots more aware of how their collectivity has treated otherness and more determined to pressure their collectivity to mend its ways.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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