Você está na página 1de 8


D., 2000. Citizenship and National Identity, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Converted via https://cloudHQ.net
Tags: Theory of Politics - Global Justice
Created: November 16 2014, 16:40:03 Modified: November 18 2014, 23:24:18
Note URL:

Theory of Politics - Global Justice

Miller, D., 2000. Citizenship and National Identity, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Chapter 2: In Defence of Nationality

Nationality under attack

pg. 25, Humean sort of argument which leave ordinary sentiments in place until strong arguments for rejection appear
In moral and political philosophy, in particular, we build upon existing sentiments and judgements, correcting them
only when they are inconsistent or plainly flawed in some other way.
We dont aspire to some universal and rational foundation such as Kant.
From this standpoint that Miller defend nationality
Does not seek to justify standpoint
Try to build political theory based of attachments and allegiances
Do two things:
1. Examine arguments against nationality and show flawed
2. Assuage tension between the ethical (pg. 26) particularism implied by such commitments and ethical
Show why universally advantageous for people to have national loyalties
Philosophers may protest that only reasons for belief/action are from impersonal perspective
Give weight to both agent-neutral and agent-relative reasons
But nationalistic concerns seem to represent not a different segment of moral life, but 'a competing way of
understanding the concepts and principles that make up the impartial or agent-neutral standpoint.
Paradox that nationalism on rise, but nationalists on defensive
Seems to be because of view that it cannot withstand rational scrutiny
Also widely felt to be a backward-looking, reactionary notion.
HG Wells: Our true nationality is mankind.
Orwell: all that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juce drinkers
who come flocking toward the smell of progress like bluebottles to a dead cat.

What is a nation?

pg. 27, Would-be nationalist thus has two challenges to meet:

1. Philosophical challenge
2. Progressive challenge
Notion of nationality comprises three interconnected propositions:
1. Personal identity
it may properly be part of someones identity that they belong to this or that national grouping
It may be, but not need be, part of personal identity
2. Bounded duties
Nations are contour lines in the ethical landscape.
The duties we owe to our fellow-nationals are different form, and more extensive than, the duties owe to
human beings as such.
Not no duties to others
There is weight to national boundaries
3. Political self-determination
people who form a national community in a particular territory have a good claim to political self-
Needs institutional structure for collective decisions primarily concerning own community
Not necessarily the sovereign state, though this has been historically so
pg. 28, Propositions linked together in such a way that it is difficult to feel the force of any one of them without
acknowledging the others.
Clear that common identity strengthens ethical and self-determinative claims
More subtle that self-determination strengthens source of identity and obligation
Features of nationality:
1. national communities are constituted by belief: a nationality exists when its members believe that it does.
Features such as race or language only feature when nationality takes it as a defining feature
For every criterion that has been proposed there are clear empirical counter-examples.
2. Identity embodies historical continuity
Nations stretch backwards into the past.
pg. 29, The historic national community is a community of obligation.
Because of what our forefathers did, we inherit obligation to continue their work
Thus nation an ethical community which 'stretches back and forward across generations
not one that the present generation can renounce.
N.B. Then how could we ever have a separation of nations?
How can nations become independent?
Surely theyd have obligation to prior generations of the single nation?
3. National identity is an active identity
Nations are communities that do things together.
We do rely on proxies that are seen to embody national will
But The nation becomes what it does by the decisions that it takes.
4. Connects a group of people to a particular geographical place
Clear contract with other group identities
A nation, in contrast, must have a homeland.
pg. 30, Helps explain why national community a political community
Nations are groups that act their actions must include that of controlling a chunk of the earths surface.
this territorial element that makes nations uniquely suited to serve as the basis of states.
5. Essential to national identity that 'people who compose the nation are believed to share certain traits that mark them
off from other peoples.
Incompatible with notion that nation just people who have been thrown together
N.B. That is how many nations start though
National divisions must be natural ones; they must correspond to real differences between peoples.
Immigration not excluded, but immigrants must take on the essential elements of national character.
N.B. Whole debate over British values
N.B. Hence why immigration easier in states
There is a national identity people can buy in to
Need be a range of characteristics generally shared by nation
Moreover, National identities can remain unarticulated.
pg. 31, These five elements distinguish nationality from other collective sources of personal identity
Mythical aspect to national identity
Part of this is because many nations have been created by force, and people have to think of themselves as co-
Uncomfortable to be reminded of forced nature of nations genesis

Nationality defended

Real question is whether national identities perform such valuable functions that our attitude, as philosophers, should be
one of acquiescence if not positive endorsement.
Argue answers one of the most pressing needs of the modern world
Maintains solidarity among populations of states that are large and anonymous
pg. 32, Assume need for solidarity, where there is a strong tendency towards social atomization'
Needed to provide collective goods etc.
Nationality is de facto the main source of such solidarity.
On Humean basis, enough to commend it
Precisely because of mythical element that national identity can be reshaped to meet new challenges/needs
Ability to change story means we can change substance of national identity
e.g. Change in interpretation of British imperialism
this imaginary aspect of nationality may be a source of strength.
Allows people of different political persuasions to share political loyalty, as lines of common background blurred
Shows nationality not a conservative idea
Often associated with liberal and socialist programmes too
pg. 33, Conservative may even reject nationalism
invokes the activist idea of a people collectively determining its own destiny.
The liberal objection

Liberal critique that nationality is detrimental to the cultural pluralism that liberals hold dear
pg. 34, Derives from assumption that national identities are exclusive in their nature
that where a state embodies a single nationality, the culture that makes up that nationality must drive out
everything else.
But nationality is not an all-embracing identity
Need not extend to all cultural attributes
Liberal argument assumes no line can be drawn
Mill flips argument to say that Unless the several groups that compose a society have the mutual sympathy and
trust that stems from a common nationality, it will be virtually impossible to have free institutions.
Liberal critique that line can be drawn, but national identities are always in practice biased in favour of the dominant cultural
State may not suppress minorities, but does not accord equal respect and equal treatment
pg. 35, Admittedly descriptively true in many historical cases.
But not integral that national identities loaded in this way
Ability to redefine the national identity means can purge of bad elements
N.B. But no need to do so
Moreover, nationality seeks to be an inclusive identity, which can incorporate sub-groups
Argue furthers that what best meets the needs of minority groups is a clare and distinct national identity which
stands over and above the specific cultural traits of all the groups in the society in question.
Cannot argue that superimposition of national identity will be painless
pg. 36, While national identities are thinned down to make them more acceptable to minority groups, these groups
themselves must abandon values and ways of behaving that are in stark conflict with those of the community as a

The Balkan objection

Balkan objection argues that the principle of nationality cannot in practice be realized, but meanwhile the belief that it can
leads to endless political instability and bloodshed.
Would-be nationalities so entangled that no way of drawing boundaries so as to satisfy all claims
Nationality holds people who form a national community have good claim to self-determination
Not to be confused with certain liberal view of the state which makes individual consent condition of states authority
If each person must consent to the existence of the state, it follows that the borders of states should be drawn
whenever people wan them to be drawn.
Practical implication that any sub-community has right to secession
N.B. But then what does allow secession?
pg. 37, 'Central to the idea of nationality is not individual will, but individual identity.
N.B. Hard to disentangle surely?
If group is dissatisfied, question to ask is Does the group have a collective identity which is or has become
incompatible with the national identity of the majority in the state?
Broadly three answers to question:
1. Dissatisfied group is ethnic and feels materially not getting a fair deal and/or group identity is not being
Case of Black Americans
Requires domestic reform, but not secession
N.B. This would then argue against Scotlands secession
2. Group has national identity, but is radically incompatible with identity of majority, where elements of
commonality and difference
Shared common historical identity, but distinct national character
e.g. Case of Scots and Welsh
Not secession case, but a constitutional arrangement which gives the sub-community
right of self-determination in those areas of decision which are especially central to its
own sense of nationhood.
3. State contains two or more nations with radically incompatible identities
No realistic possibility of shared identity
minority group has a prima facie case for secession.
Further conditions have to be met:
Some way of redrawing borders to create two viable states without insoluble
N.B. Issue with South Sudan secession and the oil fields
Territory claimed by seceding group cannot contain minorities (pg. 38) whose own
identity is radically incompatible with new majoritys
Consideration given to small groups left in rump state
e.g. If Quebec left, leaving other French minorities out on a limb
the principle of nationality does not generate an unlimited right of secession.

Justice and sentiment

Objection duties of justice do not depend on feeling towards others

National identity marks out to whom special duties are owed
May do so without determining content of those duties
Does not mean duties are based on feelings
pg. 39, e.g. Similar situation to family
But obligations within national case seem sentiment-based
Thus, nation with less sentiment would have less obligations
Overlooks role played by political culture
I feel bound to them as sharing in a certain way of live, expressed by the public culture.
Content of obligations stem from that culture
Follows justice does vary from place to place, but not directly in line with sentiment
e.g. Swede will think more obligations than American due to public culture
This may still sound an uncomfortably relativistic view to some.
But identifying with public culture not so relativistic


Argue that unless philosophers refer to national identity they will lose contact entirely with the beliefs of the people they seek
to address.
pg. 40, But issue for nationalist philosopher is tension between national loyalties and limitations of own and others national
no solution here but to strive for some kind of equilibrium between the everyday and the philosophical.

Chapter 10: National Self-Determination and Global Justice

The Problem

pg. 161, Deep tension between national self-determination and global justice
Global justice, I will assume means distributive justice on a global scale.
If global, then rights and resources available to someone should depend only on characteristics of that
particular person.
Entails geographical must be regarded as irrelevant
pg. 162, Seems to be no theory that makes belonging to one or other society itself a relevant
consideration in deciding what is due.
Principle of national self-determination says people who inhabit continuous piece of territory form a national community who have
right to determine their own future
they are entitled to a form of collective autonomy.
Many cases, achieved by having independent state
Conflict of self-determination and global justice thus stems from the fact that under self-determination, inconceivable that
rights and resources would not differ
pg. 163, Not consider objections that national self-determination is not possible:
Argument that we do not find political communities with shared national identities in neatly bounded territories
Argument that choices open to nation-states constrained by actions of other nation-states
Even if so, no more palatable to global justice than to national self-determination
If all at the mercy of world market or states, no prospect that global allocation can match DJ
N.B. I dont know why not
Interdependence does not mean cannot cooperate
Assume nation states, individually or collectively, can take decisions affecting resource distribution
pg. 164, Such an assumption needed for both domestic DJ (DDJ) and CDJ
If the domestic distribution or resources is governed by the iron laws of economics, then
speculation about the principles of just distribution becomes pointless, and so equally for
international distribution of resources.
N.B. The point CDJ is making is not that at mercy means no control
Rather, it means that because we are interdependent, there is call for CDJ

The value of national self-determination

Assume national self-determination (NSD) possible

But to say that national self-determination is possible is not to say that it is valuable.
One could deny any intrinsic value, and say only good to extent it leads to greater world justice
Why might NSD be intrinsically valuable?
SD for groups valuable as SD is for individuals
Just as individual people want to be able to shape their circumstances to suit their aims and ambitions, so
groups want to be able to decide how to organise their internal affairs and to dispose of their resources.
As long as individual has a say, then group autonomy is valuable
Self-evident for a tennis club
pg. 165, Self-evidence disappears for nations
One reason that tennis club members have a lot in common, whereas compatriots are thrown together
national boundaries are arbitrary frequently they stem from historical contingencies.
Another reason that national membership is involuntary
Tennis club members sign up, nationals do not
Even if arbitrary shape to some nations, what matters is whether the people who now constitute the would-be national
sufficiently share an identity and a set of values to make nationhood and the idea of a national will more than
mere hyperbole.
Moreover, claims all around for groups to have self-determination
national identities once created are remarkably tenacious
If people do not choose national membership, this cuts both ways.
Creates problem for person who develops culturally and ethically differently to surrounding community
pg. 166, But also means people are often deeply attached to NIs in a deep way
No doubt a psychologically contingent social process.
But given it obtains, the case for national self-determination remains strong.
Case for NSD strongest when three conditions met:
1. Communitys institutions should be as near as possible to ideal of deliberative democracy
Under this, outcomes will reflect judgments made on reflection
Allows dissent, and scrutiny of prevailing principles and practices
N.B. What if they dont want deliberative democracy?
e.g. The caliphate being set up by IS
2. the standard range of civil and political right should be constitutionally entrenched
Protects sphere of liberty for minorities
3. Legal right of emigration
Moral obligation to remain member, and not to leave for financial advantage, but still need legal right of exit
N.B. Why do we have a moral obligation not to leave for financial advantage?
If not part of our identity, then why does it matter?

The demands of justice

pg. 167, Apparently appealing solution that national self-determination is valuable so long as it remains within the bounds
laid down by justice.
Justice imposes certain requirements, and as long as NSD conforms to these, it is a good thing
Analogy with individuals in the state
N.B. But isnt this a disanalogy, as Caney points out, as it treats groups as homogenous groups
See Caney, pg. 126
Resolves conflict by giving global justice priority
Solution in practice varies greatly with which DJ theory
Some may be so demanding, little room for NSD
Some less so
But analogy between individuals and groups misleading
overlooks the fact that nation-states are also engaged in the pursuit of an important form of justice - social
justice - among their own members.
Nations prevented from SD may also be prevented for practising justice among members
Ceases to be clear global justice has priority
pg. 168, But surely social justice simply global justice on a smaller scale
N.B. Scope2 claim from Caney
See Caney, pg. 107
Argument runs as:
Justice is a matter of entitlement
Social justice within society means state ensures access
Global justice demands ensemble of states should ensure access
This assumes we can give a think specification of the demands of justice in advance of the articulation of those
demands within the many different political communities that make up the world we inhabit.
More reasonable that conceptions of justice vary in different cultural milieux
Thus, under NSD, policies of social justice will vary
N.B. This is realistically true, but is this that justice varies, or that cultures distort it?
Miller isn't arguing for wide subjectivism, as he point more to world-view influence, rather than
conceptions a priori being different
Three reasons for divergence:
1. Justice has to with way valued goods are allocated
How goods conceived will vary between society
Point can be missed with basic goods
N.B. Hence talk of global right to subsistence covering these things
But justice covers more than basic goods
N.B. Interestingly, Rawls list of goods is pretty universal
Could that meet this claim?
pg. 169, the meaning of such goods is socially constituted.
2. Criteria of just distribution varies
Almost all societies discriminate on basis of merit
But different qualities held up as meritorious
N.B. Hence difference in whether or not we deserve fruits of talented labour
Moreover, difference in what is seen as need
Basic needs universal
But much else will depend on social norms
N.B. Hence why the goods that Rawls provides are universal goods
i.e. Primary goods, basic rights, income/wealth, responsibility
These work within the state among heterogeneous individuals, so why not
among states?
Assuming neutralism
3. Contexts in which criteria applied
Peoples judgments of which DJ depends on context of distribution
pg. 170, e.g. Money given for need, desert, lottery, or contractual right
we judge which criterion is the just criterion by considering the social context
N.B. Im sorry, this is bollocks
Relying too heavily on Humean sentiments
This is to take a very wishy washy notion of justice
Not suggesting societies have a free hand in deciding how to arrange the social contexts
Simply that where contexts differ, so will conceptions of justice
pg. 171, Not claiming subjectivism
claiming that the right answer must draw upon shared meanings and shared understandings
in such a way that it will not serve as an answer for all societies.
contextualist rather than subjectivist
N.B. Not a whole lot of difference
How to find best interpretation?
One perspective is that it is up to philosophers to developed DJ systematising peoples judgments
Another perspective is that deliberative democracy encourages citizens to understand social justice
N.B. Point made by some that it requires making arguments appealing to all
Not the purpose of deliberative democracy, but may well be a side-effect
pg. 172, Thus, if nations optimal sites for deliberative democracy, and it helps bring about shared conception of justice, then good
reason to favour nation-states for political organisation
Against global egalitarianism

clear that global justice cannot require that people everywhere should enjoy the same resources and advantages
regardless of their membership in particular political communities.
If demands of social justice vary, then membership must make a relevant difference
N.B. Unless we deny the former claim
Could argue global justice works at more abstract level, such as equal access to advantage (EAA)
Not sustainable, as radical heterogeneity of the things that together might constitute advantage
pg. 173, However, there is some across-the-board disadvantage, and global justice may simply require elimination of
Need to make clear whether this is to rectify relative or absolute disadvantage
In other words, is inequality the problem, or poverty?
Wrong to see problem as inequality per se
Cannot specify equality with different conceptions of justice
N.B. The issue of heterogeneity on whatever dimension of equality is applied
But, then EAA, as defined by Cohen, does seem to avoid that
Can only use weak equality principle of absolute poverty
injustice suffered only by those who are absolutely as well as relatively deprived.
Question whether egalitarian principles are right global principle
pg. 174, Some see justice and equality as one and the same
But justice assumes equality only in some contexts
In the absence of a politically-organized global community, this context cannot be stretched in such a
way as to make global inequalities unjust merely by virtue of their being inequalities.

Global justice

What are positive requirements of global justice?

what does each of us, individual, owe to other human beings?
Requirements of global justice:
1. we must respect the conditions that are universally necessary for human beings to lead minimally adequate lives.
Negative answer of not infringing basic rights
Positive answer of access to certain basic rights
Often spelt out as list of basic human rights
pg. 175, Challenge is making this societally neutral
2. Individuals and collectives should refrain from exploitation
Global inequality means plenty of room for exploitation
Again, challenge is to make societally neutral
Generally negative requirement
Though also positively requires governments to ensure requirement respected
3. obligation to ensure that all political communities have the opportunity to determine their own future and practise
justice among their members.
pg. 176, If we value NSD, then we must defend others NSD as well
More controversial is whether we should 'provide the resources needed to achieve justice internally
Pulled in two directions:
1. Some communities have little chance to achieve justice by themselves
2. Political decisions taken within states may have negative effects on social justice
Want to say they are responsible for results of decisions reached
N.B. Do we?
See Caneys convincing denial of this, pg. 129-131
we cannot value self-determination, and at the same time seek to nullify its effects
whenever it leads to outcomes that appear to us mistaken.
N.B. Also see Anderson for a critique of this line of argument, pg. 327-330
Complicated by the fact that decisions often made by elite
N.B. As Caney points out
Thus, obligation to provide political communities with the opportunity to achieve justice internally.
Means adequate resource base and tolerable economic environment
pg. 177, Guiding principle is NSD, but should not be expected to cope with every effect of interdependence
How far do these obligations limit NSD with own community?
First two obligation do set limits
Domestic pursuit must not mean violation of basic rights or exploitation of outsiders
Third obligation, special moral responsibility to ensure justice in own community first
N.B. Principle of removing log from ones own eye first
pg. 178, So here global justice is not a requirement that sets absolute limits to self-determination, but rather a
factor that needs to be balanced against it.
Question of what responsibility each nation has for rectifying injustice of other nations
Beyond certain points, seems very onerous
Two answers that are wrong:
1. Failure of others to discharge obligations relieves us of obligations
Demands too little
2. We have as much responsibility to rectify injustices of others as we have to pursue justice ourselves
N.B. Acts/omissions same argument
Demands too much
the truth must lie somewhere in between.
Formulating right principle though not easy


pg. 179, Once requirements of global justice met, considerable space for national communities to pursue their own projects
and objectives.
NSD means social justice can be reached in each community with a shared understanding
Global justice must be spelt out so it does not rely on thick local conceptions