44 / 2016
Eamonn Callan

Kymlicka on Cultural Rights and Liberalism

Kymlicka’s Liberalism, Community, and Culture originated a highly influential argument about the ethical foundations of minority cultural rights. The argument is explained and assessed in its original context and in the more developed form it took in his later book, Multicultural Citizenship. In its original version the argument was seriously underspecified, but the later version cleared up some problems only to create others. Minority cultural rights were either classed as the rights to self-government of national minorities or the rights of immigrants to integration into the receiving society, a form of incorporation that welcomes the retention of hyphenated cultural identities. The argument still left ample room to doubt that nationality suffices to justify self-government and that reasons derived from the value of multicultural integration could really support immigrant rights. Alan Patten’s recent book, Equal Recognition, goes far to remedy these shortcomings while remaining firmly within the liberal paradigm of cultural rights that Kymlicka established with his first book.

KEYWORDS: multiculturalism, recognition, identity, Alan Patten, Will Kymlicka

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