Habermas and viroli on constitution and patria: a defense of constitutional patriotism
Erdem, Erdinç (2012) Habermas and viroli on constitution and patria: a defense of constitutional patriotism. [Thesis]
This study aims to explore Viroli‟s republican patriotism and Habermas‟s constitutional patriotism by starting off from the fundamental question what makes constitutional patriotism different from republican patriotism. The main motivation of such an examination comes from Viroli‟s argument that Habermas‟s constitutional patriotism is a version of republican patriotism. Against Viroli‟s claim, the main argument of this thesis is that Habermas‟s theory of constitutional patriotism cannot be incorporated and assimilated into a form of republican patriotism. Firstly, republican patriotism, the one constructed by Viroli, is highly based on the republicanism of Machiavelli and Rousseau, while Habermas‟s constitutional patriotism draws mostly from Kant and Hegel. The second point explored is the distinction between republican patriotism which aims to bring back pre-national form of attachment, and constitutional patriotism that represents the search for post-national allegiances. The next emphasis is on the republican patriotism of Viroli that suggests rhetoric to reach citizens‟ hearts to instill love and passion for a country and pride for its history. Habermas, on the other hand, tries to apply his “communicative reason” and “discourse ethics” to construct a rationally oriented post-conventional community organized under the umbrella of constitutional patriotism in which citizens publicly confront their traumatic past. Finally, whereas Viroli‟s republican patriotism can be considered as an answer given from the republican tradition to the question of how to overcome national identity, Habermas‟s constitutional patriotism can be read as a critique of this tradition although he does not completely isolates himself from republicanism. Hence, recognizing the similarities and overlaps between these concepts, the main purpose of this paper is to point out in what respects constitutional patriotism is distinguished from republican patriotism.
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