While in the past political scientists assumed that liberalism and nationalism are two incompatible concepts, civil liberal and ethnic communitarian traditions are not as opposed as they may seem, and in fact, the two are often inseparable in modern nation-building and citizenship issues. Classical liberalism argues against identity as its main preoccupation is the limits of government and the right of the citizens against the government, and equality under the rule of law. Opposed to this, the first attempts of reconciling identity and citizenship culminate in what constitutes the theory of liberal nationalism, which supports the neutrality of the state, removing identity from the public realm. I will show that the theory of liberal nationalism gives a much more convincing account of the development of political communities and solidarity than political liberalism does but it is not free of criticism. I argue we need to move beyond liberal nationalism since equal citizenship and intercommunity solidarity is attainable only if identities are recognized on both the private and public. In ethnically divided societies, equal citizenship can only be assured with minority rights, which define the program of multiculturalism. While many contest this alliance of multiculturalism and liberalism, I argue that a liberal justification of this theoretical framework is possible. I also claim that pluralism also shifted from ‘old’ to ‘new’ pluralism that is characterized by deep divisions, a number of overlapping dimensions: cultural, social, epistemic; and cultural diversity as salient. As such, I conclude that multinational pluralism – understood as a theory integrating multicultural liberalism and egalitarian liberalism – is, unlike previous attempts, both conceptually and institutionally capable of providing an adequate framework for managing the contentious politics of ethnic diversity.
- National Identity
- Liberal Democracy
- Political Community
- Classical Liberalism
- Equal Citizenship
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Sata, R. (2010). Multinational Pluralism – Rethinking Multiculturalism as an Approach to Diversity and Cultural Difference. In: Lammert, C., Sarkowsky, K. (eds) Travelling Concepts. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-531-92139-6_10
Publisher Name: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
Print ISBN: 978-3-531-16892-0
Online ISBN: 978-3-531-92139-6