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The Cultural Defense of NationsA Liberal Theory of Majority Rights$
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Liav Orgad

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199668687.001.0001

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National Constitutionalism

National Constitutionalism

(p.203) 6 National Constitutionalism
The Cultural Defense of Nations

Liav Orgad

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests a two—stage process for regulating immigration and access to citizenship. In the first stage, immigrants would have to accept basic liberal—democratic principles as a prerequisite for admission; these principles are not culture—oriented, but constitute a system of structural rules governing human behavior. In the second stage, as part of the naturalization process required to obtain citizenship of a specific state, immigrants would be asked to accept fundamental constitutional principles—which include linguistic and fundamental cultural elements. However, these principles must be essential to citizenship and as just as one could reasonably expect, given the state’s overall circumstances. I call this concept “national constitutionalism.” In general, the chapter provides a normative framework for immigration regulation that protects a thin version of the majority cultural identity within the liberal discourse.

Keywords:   political liberalism, natural duties, constitutional essentialism, national constitutionalism, constitutional patriotism

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