Inclusive v Exclusive
Is the nation inclusive or exclusive?
Nations are formed through a combination of objective (language, birth) and subjective (traditions history) factors has given rise to rival concepts of the nation. While all nationalists agree that nations are a blend of cultural and psycho-political factors, they disagree strongly about where the balance between the two lies. On the one hand, ‘exclusive’ concepts of the nation stress the importance of ethnic unity and a shared history. A conservative nationalist view sees the nation as, unchanging and unchangeable, this implies that nations are characterised by common descent and so blurs the distinction between nations and races. In this view nations are held together by ‘primordial bonds’, powerful and seemingly innate emotional attachments to a language, a religion, a traditional way of life and a homeland. To different degrees, conservatives and fascists adopt such a view of the nation. On the other hand, ‘inclusive’ concepts of the nation, as found in civic nationalism, highlight the importance of civic consciousness and patriotic loyalty. From this perspective, nations may be multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious.. This, in turn, tends to blur the distinction between the nation and the state, and thus between nationality and citizenship. Liberals and socialists tend to adopt an inclusive view of the nation in which cultures can coexist inside one nation and citizenship is primarily a legal term providing shared rights and obligations.