Identity and liberal nationalism
A number of liberal defenders of nationalism argue that cultural-national membership is a vital component of individual identity. Notable among these liberal "identity nationalists" is Will Kymlicka, who defends minority national and cultural rights on the basis of the importance of such membership for persons' sense of identity. Kymlicka's conception of the liberal autonomous self, however, is radically at odds with his views concerning the importance of cultural-national membership. It also privileges national identity in such a way as to lend support to an extreme and illiberal form of nationalism, one that bases the priority of national obligations on the priority of national identity. By prioritizing national identity as Kymlicka does, other nonnational sites of identity formation, such as religious communities, may receive inadequate protection in a pluralistic nation-state.
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