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Constitutional Patriotism

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Handbook of Patriotism
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Abstract

This essay discusses constitutional patriotism and its possible implications in highly diversified societies. Constitutional patriotism is a theory of deliberative democracy that provides a normative justification for modern constitutional systems. In particular, constitutional patriotism suggests a rational explanation for the sense of alliance that individuals normally have toward their own constitutions without allocating such an alliance on the ever-present sense of belonging to a national community. The unpinning assumptions of constitutional patriotism are drawn from Kantian epistemology. In this essay, I will argue that constitutional patriotism as an explicative political theory must include a substantive protection of communal identities.

The practice of discussing political issues provides a mechanism for individuals who might profoundly disagree with the present and past results of such interaction to internalize the legitimacy of decisions taken by public institutions. This is the so-called normative spillover or normative surplus effect of constitutional patriotism. From this perspective, constitutional patriotism is one of most persuasive justifications for a democratic constitutional system that includes a large group of individuals who perceive others as strangers and yet are partakers of the ideals manifested in their constitutional document. However, I will argue that cultural diversity, which yields a plurality of political claims over what the common good might be, requires a substantive protection, analogous to the one that most liberal societies grant to religious communities and minority groups.

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Correspondence to Vito Breda .

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Breda, V. (2017). Constitutional Patriotism. In: Sardoc, M. (eds) Handbook of Patriotism. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-30534-9_5-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-30534-9_5-1

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