Why have liberals argued that nationalism promotes peace and international order?

Liberals believe that the main threat to peace and international order comes from multinational autocratic empires, such as those that existed before World War One. However, democratic states are seen by liberals as being able to provide peace and international order.

Liberals believe that the main threat to peace and international order comes from multinational autocratic empires, such as those that existed before World War One. However, democratic states are seen by liberals as being able to provide peace and international order.

For liberals the main goal of nationalism is to create an independent nation-state. Thus, liberalism follows political nationalism. For liberals, international order can be maintained because the nation-state is naturally peaceful. As they share a common culture and all enjoy national sovereignty, nation-states are unwilling to attack each other. Furthermore, they have no incentive to want to wage war because that would destabilise their own country. Thus, the nation-state is capable of promoting brotherhood and mutual respect on the international scene.

Nationalism can also promote peace within the state. This is because the form of nationalism that liberals subscribe to, civic nationalism, is inclusive and accepts all kinds of races, ethnic groups and religions. This leads to the distinction between nationality and citizenship becoming blurred. Consequently, there is greater respect for ethnic and cultural diversity and thus cultural cohesion and political unity can be attained as everyone is treated with equal respect and feels equally valued within the nation-state.

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