Liberal narratives and "genocidal moments"

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    Human rights are not (if even considered) prominent within typical nationalist discourses. Nationalism has preoccupations with wars, empire, heroism, common struggles, or self-righteousness. The national past is typically praised within patriotic narratives because this illustrates the idealized characteristics of identity. For the worst twentieth century examples of nationalism (and related political ideologies), it is accepted that their violence emanated from implementing and justifying their philosophies. The language of "human rights"is routinely utilized in relation to these examples, particularly in the field of history. Nations associated with liberalism, democracy, and "moral progress"(such as Britain, America, or Australia) are also attached to heroic nationalist narratives, but these narratives are widely held (by themselves) to be self-evidently true. Such nations have long associations with the principles of post-1945 international law and human rights declarations, but have been selective in their support for human rights. This is mirrored by a willingness to ignore (downplay or even justify) human rights controversies within their own pasts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)208-226
    JournalGenocide Studies International
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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