Multiculturalism as a new form of Nationalism?

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate (Academic Journal)

15 Citations (Scopus)


What is often described today as neo‐nationalism or nationalist populism today arguably looks like the old nationalism. What is emerging as genuinely new are the identity‐based nationalisms of the centre left, sometimes called “liberal nationalism” or “progressive patriotism.” I offer my own contribution to the latter, which may be called “multicultural nationalism.” I argue that multiculturalism is a mode of integration that does not just emphasise the centrality of minority group identities but argues that integration is incomplete without remaking national identity so that all can have a sense of belonging to it. This multiculturalist approach to national belonging has some relation to liberal nationalism. It, however, makes not just individual rights but minority accommodation a feature of acceptable nationalism. Moreover, accommodation here particularly includes ethno‐religious groups in ways that are difficult for radical regimes of secularism. For these reasons, multicultural nationalism unites the concerns of some of those currently sympathetic to majoritarian nationalism and those who are prodiversity and minority accommodationist in the way that liberal nationalism (with its emphasis on individualism and majoritarianism) does not. It therefore represents the political idea and tendency most likely to offer a feasible alternative rallying point to monocultural nationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2020


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