Charles Blattberg

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Charles Blattberg

Charles Blattberg is a professor of political philosophy at the Université de Montréal. Educated at Toronto, McGill, the Sorbonne (Université de Paris I), and Oxford, he has been teaching political philosophy at the Université de Montréal since 2000, except for 2005–6 and 2012-13 when he was a Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Blattberg has been developing a political philosophy that he calls 'new patriotism', which he wants to distinguish from nationalism so as to focus on the common good shared by the members of a political as distinct from national community. He has argued that what he calls 'patriotic democracy' is superior to 'deliberative democracy'[1] because of four main flaws with the latter. He accused deliberative democracy of using a systematic set of procedures for conversation which distorts its practice; of being ideologically biased; that the distinction between conversation and negotiation in deliberative democracy is overstated; and because he believes within deliberative democracy the conception of the political community is impoverished.[2] Blattberg is also critical of the relationship between the state and civil sociey, as commonly described within discourse on deliberative democracy.[3]


Recent commentary on Blattberg's approach can be found in Eric Montpetit's, in "Easing Dissatisfaction with Canadian Federalism? The Promise of Disjointed Incrementalism," Canadian Political Science Review 2, no. 3 (September 2008), pp. 12–28; Michel Seymour, De la tolérance à la reconnaissance (Montreal: Boréal, 2008), pp. 121–7; and Stéphane Courtois, "Une politique du bien commun au Canada est-elle possible?" International Journal of Canadian Studies, no. 42 (2010), pp. 273–82.


  • From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 978-0198296881
  • Shall We Dance? A Patriotic Politics for Canada, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003, ISBN 978-0773525962
  • Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0773535381
  • The Adventurous Young Philosopher Theo Hoshen of Toronto (a novel), Montreal: Angst Patrol Books, 2013, ISBN 978-0991792603


  1. Charles Blattberg's views are set out in the 2003 edition of 'Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy', volume 6 pages 155-174. It is summarised online here
  2. Taken from 'Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy', 2003, available here
  3. More on this is available here

External links