The limits of nationalism

Chaim Gans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

166 Scopus citations


This book discusses the justifications and limits of cultural nationalism from a liberal perspective. Chaim Gans presents a normative typology of nationalist ideologies, distinguishing between cultural liberal nationalism and statist liberal nationalism. Statist nationalisms argue that states have an interest in the cultural homogeneity of their citizenries. Cultural nationalisms argue that people have interests in adhering to their cultures (the adherence thesis) and in sustaining these cultures for generations (the historic thesis). Gans argues that freedom- and identity-based justifications for cultural nationalism common in literature can only support the adherence thesis, while the historical thesis could only be justified by the interest people have in the long-term endurance of their personal and group endeavors. The Limits of Nationalism examines demands often made in the name of cultural nationalism, such as claims for national self-determination, historical rights claims to territories and demands entailedby cultural particularism as opposed to cultural cosmopolitanism.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages192
ISBN (Electronic)9780511490231
ISBN (Print)0521808642, 9780521808644
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


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