Journal directory listing - Volume 68 (2023) - Journal of Research in Education Sciences【68(1)】March

Revisiting Patriotism: Reflections on Global Ethics in the Post-Pandemic Era Author: Cheng-Hsi Chien (Graduate Institute of Educational Administration,
National Pingtung University )

Vol.&No.:Vol. 68, No. 1
Date:March 2023

Research Motives and Purposes
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has exerted considerable impact on various sectors worldwide and has disrupted global travel. Most discussions on epidemics and education are related to curriculum and instruction or the harmony between human beings and nature. This study re-examines the discussions related to patriotism in Western political philosophy after the 1980s in the context of international political and economic disputes during this pandemic. This study aims to change the perspective of global ethics in the face of the considerable changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of patriotism in fulfilling the mission of global ethics, thereby laying a foundation for civic education.
Research Methods and Literature
This study mainly uses philosophical arguments to reconstruct the meaning of patriotism in the context of global ethics. The following literature sources are reviewed: (1) Critiques of communitarianism against liberalism in the West after the 1980s and the emergence of collectivism, which has triggered relevant debates between liberalism and patriotism and (2) scholars’ views on how to strengthen the ethical mission of patriotism under globalization.
Research Results
Globalization driven by neoliberalism has led to the accumulation of wealth but has failed to evenly distribute income, resulting in the widening gap between the rich and poor. That is, ethical reflection is lacking in neoliberal economic thinking. Neoliberalism emphasizes the market mechanism. The original ideal of “minimization of state power” led to the “maximization of individual freedom” but corroded the concept of the welfare state, which has led the government to take no responsibility for the increasing domestic wealth gap. These two factors have contributed to the emergence of the anti-globalization trend after 2000. However, as the pandemic emerged, countries imposed various regulations for security reasons, which ultimately had a major impact on their economies. Countries require international support to cope with epidemics, climate change, and vaccine distribution. Therefore, instead of rejecting globalization altogether, its ethical mission must be strengthened. Thus, global ethics must be urgently strengthened in the post-pandemic era.
Western liberal democracies did not emphasize patriotism in civic education after World War II in the last century because of the idea of the restraint of public power and the fear of possible national chauvinism. However, the communitarian scholar A. Macintyre proposed that patriotism is a virtue, and it has been valued again. This, of course, has renewed the challenges of traditional liberals, such as M. Nussbaum, who promoted cosmopolitanism in the light of Tagore and the Stoics. Keller also thinks patriotism was a bad faith. E. Callan and others echoed Keller’s doubts had been discussed.
Many scholars mutually hold liberal and communitarian views, namely R. Dagger’s reciprocity argument, C. H. Wellman’s gratitude argument, A. Manson’s citizenship argument, and S. Nathanson’s moderate patriotism. In simple terms, scholars with communitarianism and civic republicanism views believed that if patriotism was not endowed with the inherent spirit as a virtue, it would not cultivate the feelings of mutual devotion among compatriots and stimulate people to effectively fulfill their obligations, which would lead to citizens’ indifference to public affairs. Those who support patriotism believe that the love for a nation and concern for the welfare of its fellow citizens are similar to the relationship between an individual and their family or friends. Patriotism encourages individuals to care about public interest, participate in public affairs, sacrifice themselves if necessary, and even fight to protect the country and fellow citizens. Patriotism thus contributes to the smooth operation of the institutions of the political community. The special concern for one’s nation and fellow citizens, whether arising from contracts or reciprocity arguments, yields good results. Most scholars of the classic liberal contract theory are also willing to accept reciprocity, gratitude, virtues and to affirm the emotional connection between citizens from citizenship. Although these arguments do not completely account for the personal sacrifice for one’s country or the supererogatory actions for one’s fellow citizens, nor did they completely exclude Keller’s accusations, they reflect the attempt by Western scholars to integrate patriotism and liberal democracy. Although these scholars have not been able to fully succeed in justifying the fusion of liberalism and patriotism, they all expect to keep patriotism from creating a traditional deficit.
Considering that patriotism may hinder globalization, scholars have focused on the association between patriotism and globalization. In addition to Nussbaum’s earlier promotion of cosmopolitanism as well as the above-mentioned mutual absorption of patriotism by liberalism and communitarianism, this study particularly analyzes the following: (1) I. Primoratz proposed ethical patriotism, emphasizing collective responsibility and conferring more ethical responsibility to patriotism. The study examines Primoratz’s three plausible justifications for ethical patriotism. Although it is difficult for countries to self-reflect, ethical patriotism is urgently needed in the post-pandemic era. Primoratz’s ethical patriotism represents the link between patriotism and cosmopolitanism. In the post-pandemic era of globalization, citizens should not only care about the well-being of their country and their compatriots but also reflect on their country’s responsibility to the world. (2) Following the purview of virtue ethics and contemporary psychology, R. Curren and C. Dorn demonstrated that people do not just follow orders but are motivated to respond to moral judgments and values in order to thrive. Autonomy, self-determination theory, and organismic integration theory are all related to basic human needs, and these theories describe that basic human needs are subject to external rewards and punishments. Internalizing people’s motivation leads to their psychological growth and well-being. Here, Curren and Dorn associate patriotism as a virtue that promotes the positive motivation of people at the individual, national, and even global levels, which is a novel idea compared with that of Macintyre. Moreover, after a long debate on patriotism from liberalism and communitarianism viewpoints, Western scholars associate patriotism to global ethics and hope that it will lay a foundation for civic education.
Conclusions and Suggestions
The following conclusions can be drawn based on the above discussions:
(1) Based on neo-liberal globalization after 1980s should highlight the importance of global ethics.
(2) After the marked changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, patriotism in various countries should not be reduced to regional confrontation; by contrast, patriotism should be associated with the mission of global ethics. Primoratz’s ethical patriotism deserves our attention.
(3) Nussbaum’s concept of concentric circles—drawing circles toward the center—connects individuals, families, and fellow countrymen to the whole human. Curren and Dorn emphasize that civic intelligence, civic friendship, and civic competence should be the focus of civic education in the post-epidemic era.
Thus, this study re-examines the discussion on patriotism in the West and illustrates how Western scholars expect patriotism to unite internally, not hinder externally, and even be conducive to international cooperation in the post-pandemic era.

Keywords:civic education, global sustainability, global ethics, political philosophy, patriotism

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APA FormatChien, C.-H. (2023). Revisiting patriotism: Reflections on global ethics in the post-pandemicera. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 68(1), 199-227.