John Porter Lecture: Liberal Nationalisms revisited

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Abstract

Liberal Nationalisms: Empire, State and Civil Society in Scotland and Quebec argues that the emergence and character of nationalism is directly related to changes in patterns of political rule and the liberal settlements that underlay that rule. The focus is on the emergence of two nationalist groups in Scotland and Québec at the beginning of the twentieth century: the Young Scots’ Society and the Ligue nationaliste canadienne. They exhibited liberal nationalisms differently (1) in response to the British Empire’s predatory imperial policies, (2) in the perception that their states had failed to effectively accommodate the Scottish and French Canadian nations, and more problematically (3) in the place of organised religion in civil society. Their responses suggest the emergence of two quite distinct liberal nationalisms: one in which the emphasis was on universal individual rights, and the other in which particular group rights were more clearly favoured. The article offers some further reflection on the relationship between nationalism and liberalism, specifically on the existence of a symbiotic relationship, and more generally that liberalism is successful when embedded in nationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-25
JournalCanadian Review of Sociology
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2016

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