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What is the definition of national unity?

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prom-king | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 1, 2012 at 3:42 PM via web

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What is the definition of national unity?

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 3, 2014 at 5:59 PM (Answer #2)

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We usually think of national unity as a political construct that reflects the collective spirit and will of a group of people who agree to be part of particular geographical area as a unit, for the purpose of governance and action on behalf of all. But sometimes the governance does not reflect the spirit and will of the people.  Hence we have democracies and dictatorships, and in each, we have governance on behalf of the nation, acting with national unity only insofar as other nations are concerned, but with little or no internal national unity at all.  This is being played out in Ukraine right now, a nation with an elected government that acts on behalf of the entire nation, with what appears to be a substantial minority that has no spirit or will to be part of the nation.  Once internal national unity is lost, instability results, sometimes leading to more dictatorial government, sometimes leading to civil war, and sometimes leading to complete gridlock, as this lack of internal national unity is manifested in the United States.  We tend to think that a common enemy or problem is a means of promoting or restoring national unity, but if we look more carefully, it is apparent that even this is not necessarily a means of doing so.  Historically, there were many people in the United States who did not want to become involved in World War II, a much greater national disunity than many people today realize.  And a current example is the United States' lack of internal national unity even in the face of terrorism and thorny economic problems.  Insofar as other nations are concerned, certainly, we are acting with national unity, but this does not reflect the reality of our lack of national unity internally.  In essence, there is an internal national unity and an external national unity. 

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chickflik999 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted September 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM (Answer #1)

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National unity is a type of coalition government, which means that parliamentary parties or cabinets are working together in order to achieve an outcome. This type of government is usually formed during times of difficulty, such as during wars or when there are economic problems. A national unity government means that all or most of the parties in the government are working together. This is done in times of difficulty to demonstrate political legitimacy, which means that decisions made by the government have to be approved by a number of people with different backgrounds. 

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