From flag-waving to the singing of national anthems, the practices and symbols of patriotism are inescapable, and modern politics is increasingly full of appeals to patriotic fervour. But if no-one chooses where they were born, and our ethical obligations transcend national boundaries, then does patriotism make any sense? Does it encourage an uncritical attachment to the status quo, or is it a crucial way of understanding and applying our freedoms and moral duties?
In this engaging book, Charles Jones and Richard Vernon guide us through these questions with razor-sharp clarity. They examine the different ways patriotism has been defended and explained, from a republican attachment to free and democratic institutions to an ethical and historical fabric that makes our entire moral life and identity possible. They outline its relationship to a range of other key concepts, such as nationalism and cosmopolitanism, and skilfully analyse the issues surrounding partiality to country and whether we should prioritise the welfare of our compatriots over outsiders.
This concise and lucid volume will be essential for both students and general readers wishing to understand the contemporary resonance and historical development of patriotism, and how it intersects with debates about global justice, cosmopolitanism and nationalism.