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Jakarta Post

Ethnicity is futile. Time for Indonesia to move toward civic nationalism

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sat, September 28, 2019   /  01:12 pm
Ethnicity is futile. Time for Indonesia to move toward civic nationalism National interest: The country’s national emblem, the Garuda Pancasila, carries the Sanskrit motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in Diversity). (JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan)

The discrimination against Papuans has yet again brought the issue of ethnicity and nationalism into the spotlight. But what is nationalism, especially when faced against the backdrop of ethnic diversity in Indonesia? Human societies first began with ethnic nationalism. It upholds the principle of jus sanguinis (the law of blood). The nation is largely defined as having a common ancestry. This means that the most important factor in nationality would be the origins of one’s parents and ancestors. Civic nationalism, also known as liberal nationalism, is a form of nationalism in contrast with ethnic nationalism. Under this paradigm, nationality is not based on ethnicity or religion. It is based on a person’s willingness to follow the shared principles and values of the nation. French scholar and early civic nationalist Ernest Renan’s characterized the c...

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