Pols241 Oct. 22 week 7 Lecture 2
Nationalism is bad when its taken by political movements who claim to represent an entire
o Eg. HZDS in Slovakia
Led by Vladimir Merciar
Used hyper nationalism to create a political movement and to deny a
voice to their opponents.
o Allowed them to discredit the opposition by labeling them as
enemies of the nation/people. (form of anti-politics)
Works best when there is a minority
Example. Hungarian minority in Slovakia
Therefore, nationalism can be used to prevent
the emergence of liberal democracy.
o This was why Slovakia was labeled a
pseudo democracy in the 1990s.
o Its not sufficient to have just elections,
the opposition needs to be protected.
There are times when Nationalism is good for Democracy
o So long as the opposition is protected nationalism can help to create non violent and
o So long as national identity is not tied to the state, it can serve as the basis of the
opposition to play an important role in democracy.
o Ways to ensure that nationalism is useful
Problem in liberal democracies is that the majorities always win elections=
tyranny of the majority
1) Promotes the voice of minorities through constitutionalism, includes a
number of methods that can promote the voice of minorities.
1) consociational arrangements
o Minorities are given special representation at the executive
Seven people represent the different regional
o Features: everyone has a veto power. Therefore everyone has
to agree/ talk until they all agree.
Different than winner take all kind of government.
Winner take all= minorities are systematically
2) Special representation in the cabinet
Eg. Ministry in Ireland o Makes sure that the concerns of the minorities are heard in
o The type of political system is also important
Power is concentrated