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Constitutional patriotism and the post-national paradox: an exploration of migration, identity and loyalty at the local level

Tonkiss, Katherine E. (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Theorists of constitutional patriotism argue that the binding sentiment of shared national identity can be replaced with allegiance to universal principles, interpreted into particular constitutions through ongoing deliberative processes. In this thesis, I explore the implications of such an approach for the defensibility of restrictions on migration, a subject which has previously received very little attention. I argue that constitutional patriotism implies a commitment to the free movement of individuals across borders; but that freedom of movement itself creates challenges for the implementation of constitutional patriotism. This is because it may increase anti-immigrant, nationalist sentiment in the host community. I term this phenomenon the ‘post-national paradox’. I then draw on independently collected qualitative data on Eastern European migration to English rural communities to explore this post-national paradox. I analyse the argumentative strategies, as the well as the perceptions of difference, evident in justifications of anti-immigrant and nationalist sentiment in these contexts. I highlight both perceptions of cultural and economic threat, as well as a ‘banal’ sense of national loyalty, underpinning such attitudes; and suggest that discursive practice at the most local level is necessary for the bottom up construction, or growth, of an inclusive form of identity and belonging.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Cabrera, Luis and Finlay, Christopher
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Department of Political Science and International Studies, School of Government and Society
Subjects:GT Manners and customs
HC Economic History and Conditions
HT Communities. Classes. Races
JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3634
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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