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Chapter

Cover Issues in Political Theory

8. Multiculturalism  

Monica Mookherjee

This chapter studies multiculturalism. The term ‘multiculturalism’ can refer to the fact of cultural diversity and may also describe the coexistence of different kinds of cultural group within a country. Multiculturalism emphasizes status, as well as economic inequalities. Thin multiculturalism views all cultural differences as disagreements between groups that agree on liberal values. This view may underestimate the extent of conflict between cultures. Meanwhile, thick multiculturalism appreciates that some cultural differences occur between liberals and non-liberals. While the solution to cultural conflicts in thick multiculturalism is often a modus vivendi, the question is whether this solution treats non-liberal minority cultures fairly. Defenders of cultural rights hold that governments should recognize that all citizens deserve equal opportunities for developing self-respect and autonomy. However, by respecting cultural rights, a government risks supporting injustice against individuals within groups.

Book

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy
An Introduction to Political Philosophy provides and introduction to the subject, combining clarity and a conversational style with a thought-provoking account of the central questions of the discipline. The text explores the subject through a series of enduring and timeless questions, jumping centuries and millennia to explore the most influential answers and demonstrate the relevance of political philosophy for an understanding of contemporary issues. This new edition has been updated to include the on-going developments in multiculturalism and global justice, as well as in human rights and deliberative democracy.

Chapter

Cover Introducing Political Philosophy

9. Minority Exemptions and Multiculturalism  

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter argues that there is a narrow range of cases in which the state should grant members of minority groups exemptions from laws and policies that apply to others. Social and economic institutions tend to favour the preferences of those who share the majority culture, with the result that a member of a minority group often faces additional burdens in complying simultaneously with the law and the demands of their culture or religion. The chapter draws on this to propose an initial case for minority exemptions. The justification for these exemptions sees them as part of a political programme of multiculturalism, which aims to treat members of minority groups fairly when designing and applying laws and policies. The chapter then looks at the limits of this argument to shed light on the range of cases in which the state should grant such exemptions.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

7. Challenges to the Dominant Ideologies  

Robert Garner

This chapter examines a range of contemporary ideologies which challenge the traditional ones identified in ~Chapter 5. They differ from traditional ideologies in a number of ways. They are, first, less optimistic about the ability of ideologies to construct an overarching explanation of the world, not surprisingly since they emerged in the aftermath of the catastrophic impact of some traditional ideologies. They also respect difference and variety. This is a product of social and economic change which has eroded the ‘Fordist’ economy, brought into being a number of powerful identity groups based on gender, culture, and ethnicity, and raised question marks over the environmental sustainability of current industrial practices. Two modern political currents – postmodernism and populism – are considered and it is questioned whether they can be properly described as ideologies. The chapter then considers a number of contemporary ideologies such as feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism.

Book

Cover Political Ideologies

Edited by Paul Wetherly

Political Ideologies provides a broad-ranging introduction to both classical and contemporary political ideologies. Adopting a global outlook, it introduces readers to ideologies' increasingly global reach and the different national versions of these ideologies. Importantly, ideologies are presented as frameworks of interpretation and political commitment, encouraging readers to evaluate how ideologies work in practice, the problematic links between ideas and political action, and the impact of ideologies. Regular learning features encourage readers to think critically about ideologies, and view them as competing and contestable ways of interpreting the world. A unique ‘stop and think’ feature calls for readers to reflect on their own ideological beliefs. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, socialism and communism, anarchism, nationalism, fascism and the radical right, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, religion and fundamentalism.

Book

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy
An Introduction to Political Philosophy provides an introduction to the subject, combining clarity and a conversational style with a thought-provoking account of the central questions of the discipline. It explores the subject through a series of enduring and timeless questions, crossing centuries and millennia to consider the most influential answers and demonstrate the relevance of political philosophy for an understanding of contemporary issues. This new edition has been updated to include on-going developments in multiculturalism and global justice, as well as in human rights and deliberative democracy.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

23. Bhikhu Parekh  

Varun Uberoi

This chapter evaluates Bhikhu Parekh’s texts on multiculturalism, as they are his best-known works and have had a significant impact on political philosophers, scholars in other disciplines, and policy-makers. After introducing Parekh, the chapter examines his ideas about culture and cultural diversity. It then considers why he values intercultural dialogue and examines his approach to legitimizing cultural diversity in a polity. The chapter also discusses Parekh’s approach to fostering unity among the culturally diverse citizens of a polity and looks at how his practical political interventions relate to his ideas about what political philosophy is. Finally, the chapter considers the reception of Parekh’s work on multiculturalism and how best to interpret it.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

4. The nation state and multicultural citizenship  

Atsuko Ichijo

In modern politics as well as international relations, the most significant unit is referred to as the ‘state’ or more often the ‘nation state’. While the crisis of the nation state has been a staple in discussions on politics since the late twentieth century, there is no doubt it remains the most powerful unit/actor in politics in the first half of the twenty-first century. This chapter examines what the nation state is, and how it has evolved to occupy such a prominent position in our life. It also highlights various challenges that the nation state faces in the contemporary world, particularly in response to the increased movement of people across the globe and the spread of neoliberalism, as a way of assisting further understanding of this important unit/actor in politics.

Chapter

Cover Political Ideologies

11. Multiculturalism  

Paul Wetherly

This chapter examines the evolution of cultural diversity, a concept of multiculturalism, as an ideology. Aside from cultural diversity, multiculturalism has three other inter-related concepts or values: identity, community, and citizenship and equality. The chapter first considers the link between migration and cultural diversity before discussing the routes to cultural diversity within modern states, especially immigration into European societies in the period since the Second World War. It then explores the relationship between the national and global dimensions of cultural diversity as well as the attitudes of other ideological perspectives, such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism, nationalism, and feminism, to cultural diversity. It also asks whether multiculturalism is an ideology in its own right and how multiculturalist ideology has been expressed in political movements and shaped government policies. Finally, it assesses the nature of, and reasons for, the recent backlash against multiculturalism in European societies.

Chapter

Cover Political Ideologies

13. Beyond ideology?  

Paul Wetherly

This chapter examines conceptions of human nature and ideological responses to globalization. It begins with a discussion of the two reasons for the persistence of ideological dispute regarding human nature. First, ideologies differ in their views of human nature, and these differences continue to generate competing visions of the good society consistent with this nature. Second, disagreement about the good society might be built into human nature. The chapter considers the different ideological conceptions of human nature and the implications of globalization for existing political ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism. It also explores a range of arguments that suggest the possibility of resolving or ending ideological debate, asking whether it is possible to show the failure of a particular ideology, whether there can be a non-ideological way of doing politics, or whether there could there be an end of ideology.

Chapter

Cover Politics

8. Ideologies  

This chapter considers a range of traditional and contemporary ideologies. Traditional ideologies are associated with the Enlightenment and have had a significant impact on the development of world politics in the last 200 years. The claims of the traditional ideologies are challenged by more contemporary ideologies; the latter should therefore be seen in the context of growing scepticism about the utility of Enlightenment ideologies. The chapter first describes the general characteristics of an ideology before discussing traditional ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism, and fascism. It also examines contemporary ideologies, namely: feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism. The chapter argues that contemporary ideologies represent a challenge to the state, as seen in the greater emphasis on the supranational dimension observed, in particular, in multiculturalism, environmentalism, and religious fundamentalism.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

7. Challenges to the Dominant Ideologies  

Robert Garner

This chapter examines a range of contemporary ideologies which challenge the traditional ones. Contemporary ideologies differ from traditional ideologies in a number of ways. First, they are less optimistic about the ability of ideology to construct an overarching explanation of the world. Second, they respect difference and variety, a product of social and economic change that has eroded the ‘Fordist’ economy and given rise to a number of powerful identity groups based on gender, culture, and ethnicity, and raised question marks over the environmental sustainability of current industrial practices. The chapter starts with a general discussion of how the ideologies covered in this chapter differ from those considered in Chapter 6 before examining a number of contemporary ideologies—postmodernism, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism—in detail.

Book

Cover Contemporary Political Philosophy
Contemporary Political Philosophy has been revised to include many of the most significant developments in Anglo-American political philosophy in the last eleven years, particularly the new debates on political liberalism, deliberative democracy, civic republicanism, nationalism, and cultural pluralism. The text now includes two new chapters on citizenship theory and multiculturalism, in addition to updated chapters on utilitarianism, liberal egalitarianism, libertarianism, socialism, communitarianism, and feminism. The many thinkers discussed include G. A. Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, William Galston, Carol Gilligan, R. M. Hare, Catherine Mackinnon, David Miller, Philippe Van Parijs, Susan Okin, Robert Nozick, John Rawls, John Roemer, Michael Sandel, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer, and Iris Young.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Political Philosophy

8. Multiculturalism  

This chapter examines multiculturalism and its main assumptions, especially the emphasis on the need to supplement the focus on common rights with greater attention to cultural diversity and group-differentiated rights. It begins with a discussion of three distinct stages in the debate over multiculturalism. In the first stage, proponents of multiculturalism were initially drawn to communitarianism as a possible philosophical foundation for minority rights. The second stage of the debate revolves around the question of the possible scope for multiculturalism within liberal theory, and the third stage highlights the role of multiculturalism in nation-building. The chapter proceeds by describing five types of ethnocultural groups that are found within Western democracies and how they have been affected by majority nation-building: national minorities, immigrants, isolationist ethnoreligious groups, metics, and racial caste groups such as African Americans. It concludes with an analysis of the politics of multiculturalism.