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Title: Open Nationalism : reconciling Popper's Open Society and the Nation State
Author: Wilkie, Craig
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines the political philosophy of Karl Popper and his concept of open society in particular. It argues that despite Popper's hostility to nationalism there is no incompatibility between his concept of open society and the nation state. Indeed, it is shown to be both theoretically and practically possible for nation states to be constituted as open societies. Popper considered nationalism to be a tribal ideology and an enemy of open society as a form of political community. The thesis develops the argument that Popper's dismissal of nationalism was unduly hasty, in part, because he failed to distinguish between different interpretations of nationalist ideology and thus gave no consideration to the prospect of a liberal or open form of nationalism. Liberal nationalism is shown here to be a coherent theoretical position that can accommodate Popper's conception of open society. The extent to which Popper in fact assumed the nation state as a framework and context when theorising open society is also revealed and highlights a degree of ambiguity and inconsistency in his political philosophy. This leaves the way open for a re-conceptualisation of Popperian philosophy in which open society and the nation state are reconciled theoretically and a defence of the nation state as a locus for open society is developed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available