Nationality in the open society: Popper versus Hayes and Kohn

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Popper's attitude to nationalism can be analysed by comparison with the position taken by Hayes and Kohn, who distinguished between a communal, malevolent form of nationalism, and a civic and constitutional variant that could coexist with liberalism. By contrast, Popper welcomes communal affiliations whose diversity he perceives as essential to liberalism, while rejecting sovereignty, whether or not invested in a representative body, as a threat to the liberal open society. This perspective reverses the normative priorities that Hayes and Kohn attribute to liberalism. Its basis is Popper's adherence to a pluralist liberalism, which centres on protecting social ties rather than on representation and state organs. This denotation of liberalism competes with the legalist individualism that Hayes and Kohn identify with liberalism and therefore accommodates nationalism differently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-228
Number of pages21
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The author(s) 2018. Nations and Nationalism © ASEN/John Wiley & Sons Ltd 2018


  • Popper, K. R
  • civic nationalism
  • ethnic nationalism
  • liberalism
  • pluralism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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