Nationhood in the global era: an inquiry into contemporary political self
Rozynek, Michal Pawel
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Debates on nationalism highlight loyalty and solidarity as the main benefits of a shared national identity, at the same time contrasting nationhood with universalist models of political action. This interdisciplinary thesis attempts to show nationalism as part of a broader project of modernity. In doing so, I defend a comprehensive view of nationhood, which, I argue, accounts for the recent transformation of nationhood, and explains the potential of national identity to open to universal values and norms. First, I put forward my view of nationhood, which defines nations as forms of political experience. I argue that nations have an ability to create a common public world. Second, by investigating the idea of the modern self and its relationship with individual autonomy, this thesis shows that modernity is characterised by a tension between rational autonomy and subjectivisation. This political self, I argue, develops in a bounded political community. Third, I argue that nations provide access to a common world in which everyone is recognised as moral and political agents. The paradoxical nature of the modern self takes advantage of the capacity of nations to be a source of solidarity that transcends national borders.