This new study argues that while nationalism can focus on different objectives and concerns, one constant in nationalist argument is the role of a shared frame of reference. It details how frames of reference are important because they are a pre-condition for representation, both political and cultural. It argues that nations are a shorthand for the process that establishes and maintains frames of reference at a very large and very general level. However, acknowledging this does not give carte blanche endorsement to all nationalisms. There are conditions that a frame of reference should meet in order for it to be useful for a population. These conditions include relevance (a frame of reference must reflect real circumstances), currency (it must be revisable), and equal moral worth (it must value individual members of the population). In sum, this is a clear argument that the grounds of nationalism lie in its role in representation, and that its limits lie in the conditions for a useful frame of reference. This book will therefore be of great interest to all students and scholars of political science, political theory, philosophy and sociology.
University of Durham, UK