This article offers a theory of constitutional patriotism independent of the controversial social theories of modernization and rationalization with which Jürgen Habermas's version of constitutional patriotism is associated. It argues that the purpose of constitutional patriotism, as a set of beliefs and dispositions, is to enable and uphold a liberal democratic form of rule that free and equal citizens can justify to each other. The object of patriotic attachment is a specific constitutional culture that mediates between the universal and the particular, while the mode of attachment is one of critical judgment. Finally, constitutional patriotism results in a number of policy recommendations that are clearly different from policies that liberal nationalists would advocate.
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