In the Ger­man coun­try report, Dr Luuk Molthof and Mag­a­li Mohr explore the rela­tion­ship between nation­al iden­ti­ty and pride, on the one hand, and open soci­ety atti­tudes, on the oth­er. Using orig­i­nal qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive data, they demon­strate why and under what con­di­tions Ger­man patri­o­tism need not endan­ger Germany’s open society.

Germany’s past has made Ger­mans acute­ly aware of the dan­gers of nation­al­ism, and cel­e­bra­tions of Ger­man­ness are still large­ly taboo. But this taboo is com­ing under pres­sure, as many Ger­mans seem to want to move past feel­ings of guilt and shame. Some fear nation­al pride may boost Germany’s far right and endan­ger the country’s tol­er­ant and open society.

In their analy­sis of the Voic­es on Val­ues sur­vey and inter­view data, the authors show that despite the sen­si­tiv­i­ty around the sub­ject, Ger­mans – both the gen­er­al pub­lic and polit­i­cal elites – feel a latent sense of nation­al pride. By com­par­ing nation­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and pride lev­els with atti­tudes towards an open soci­ety, the report demon­strates why more overt expres­sions of Ger­man patri­o­tism do not need to endan­ger the open soci­ety. Reveal­ing that a major­i­ty of respon­dents take pride in attrib­ut­es asso­ci­at­ed with sup­port for an open soci­ety, such as the Grundge­setz (Ger­man Basic Law) or the Ger­man wel­fare state, the authors there­fore encour­age Ger­man politi­cians and civ­il soci­ety lead­ers invest­ed in the open soci­ety to active­ly engage in the con­ver­sa­tion about nation­al iden­ti­ty and pride.