Constructive Patriotism in Wartime


As opposed to blind patriotism, a moderate form of constructive patriotism has been depicted in previous research and empirically observed. The major distinction between blind patriotism and constructive patriotism lies in the latter’s capacity for criticism. Our research suggests, however, an additional distinction dividing constructive patriotism into two forms: one form is capable of practical judgment (hence, political constructive patriotism), and the other form is critical on grounds of ethical issues (hence moral constructive patriotism). This study then seeks to examine which sort of patriotism prevails within society during wartime; of special interest, for that matter, are the suggested variations of constructive patriotism. Two diverse cases have been chosen in order to examine the reactions within a democratic society: The American case of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Israeli case of the 2006 war in Lebanon. A substantive content analysis has been employed, surveying social processes through a variety of articles in an American and an Israeli daily newspaper. The findings reveal that in both cases among expressions of constructive patriotism, those of political constructive patriotism form a vast majority and only a few of them express moral constructive patriotism. It therefore seems that constructive patriots are not necessarily as moral as they might seem to be at first glance, even though they criticize state and society. The case of war in particular proves how on moral grounds criticism is important, but not enough.

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Lewin, E. (2013) Constructive Patriotism in Wartime. Open Journal of Political Science, 3, 107-112. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2013.34015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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