Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrew Altman

Second Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Third Advisor

Peter Lindsay


In this thesis I argue that David Miller has not successfully generated an account of nationalism that is liberal. I first present Miller’s account the nation, national identity and national culture. I then draw out how the ability of internal minorities to contest repugnant elements of national identity or culture is deeply ties to the liberal character of nationalism. I then argue that the exclusion of particular identities that is required by Miller’s public sphere deprives internal minorities of the epistemic resources they need to challenge repugnant elements of national culture or identity. This puts the liberal character of Miller’s nationalism into question. After I provide a rebuttal on behalf of Miller that leads to a reinterpretation of his view. However, I argue the modified account is still unsatisfactory in providing a means for contestation. Consequently I conclude if Miller is to provide an account of nationalism that is truly liberal he needs to tell a different story about the role of particular identities in public sphere deliberation.