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date: 22 July 2017

Multiculturalism and Political Philosophy

Summary and Keywords

Multiculturalism has been used both as a descriptive and a normative term, as well as a term referring to particular types of state policies. As a descriptive term, multiculturalism refers to the state of affairs present in contemporary societies: that of cultural diversity. As a normative term, multiculturalism affirms cultural diversity as an acceptable state of affairs, and provides normative grounds for accommodating this diversity. As a policy-oriented term, multiculturalism refers to a variety of state policies that aim to accommodate people’s cultural differences—most notably, different types of culturally differentiated rights.

The main focus of the debates on multiculturalism within political philosophy has been on normative multiculturalism, and the broader normative questions relating to the appropriate grounds for responding to people’s cultural differences. The debates on descriptive multiculturalism and on particular multicultural policies, however, feed into the debates on normative multiculturalism. One’s views on the nature of culture, the value of culture, and the appropriate means of demarcating group boundaries have implications on the ways in which one understands the proper objects of cultural accommodation, as well as the extent to which such accommodation should be applied. The different types of multicultural policies—including rights of indigenous groups, immigrants, and national minorities—incorporate slightly different sets of normative considerations that must be independently assessed and that also feed into the more general debates on the normative foundations for cultural accommodation.

Equality-based and identity-based arguments for cultural concern provide strong grounds for the state to be concerned about people’s cultural differences and to aim to alleviate culturally induced disadvantages. The case for (or against) culturally differentiated rights as a means for responding to these disadvantages may, however, come from several sources, including approaches to cultural diversity based on equality, autonomy, toleration, and state neutrality. While there is relative (albeit not full) agreement among normative theorists of multiculturalism that differentiated rights may be acceptable, though not always required or even desired, responses to cultural diversity, disagreements about the normative bases, and extents of application, remain.

Keywords: multiculturalism, culture, cultural diversity, liberalism, recognition, minority rights, political philosophy

Introduction

The term “multiculturalism” has been used both as a descriptive and normative term, as well as a term referring to particular types of state policies. As a descriptive term, multiculturalism refers to the state of affairs present in contemporary societies: that of cultural diversity. A multicultural society is a society that incorporates several, relatively distinct cultures and cultural groups that share the public space. A descriptively multicultural society can, of course, also be a society that has adopted certain ways of responding to cultural diversity (for example, with particular types of multicultural policies), but it needs not be committed to any particular policy approach. As a descriptive term, multiculturalism incorporates no value judgments about the desirability or undesirability of cultural diversity, nor about how one should respond to this diversity. It does, however, include certain presuppositions about the (collective) nature of culture and the demarcation of group boundaries.

As a normative term, multiculturalism affirms the state of cultural diversity as an acceptable, even desirable, state of affairs: it is saying “yes” to descriptive multiculturalism (Raz, 1994, p. 158). In this sense of the term, multiculturalism is distinguished from the assimilationist and segregationist views, portraying the co-living of different cultural groups as the default position of social (and political) organization. Normative multiculturalism aims to accommodate people’s cultural differences in a fair and sustainable way. What this fair accommodation means and how it is reflected in state policies has been some of the central questions of many multicultural theories. Different normative theories of multiculturalism have different views on the normative bases on which a (culturally) just society should be organized and on the implications that these bases have on state policies. Notably, not all normative theories of multiculturalism are normatively multicultural (in the above senses of affirming and aiming to accommodate cultural diversity), although their subject matter—that of cultural diversity and the appropriate ways of responding to it—suffice to place them within the broader category of normative theories of multiculturalism.

As a policy-oriented term, multiculturalism refers to the adoption and application of particular types of state policies that aim to respond to the claims of minority cultural groups and their members. Multicultural policies incorporate a varied set of measures that aim to cater to different types of groups—not only cultural ones, but also ethnic, religious, linguistic groups, and so forth—that have been adopted (to differing extents) as state policies across the world (see Multiculturalism Policy Index). While multicultural policies can thus be seen as concrete attempts to (positively) respond to the claims of minority cultural groups, the normative bases for such policies may differ substantively. Due to the different sets of normative considerations inherent in any particular multicultural policy, political philosophers have, to an increasing extent, turned their attention to assessing the particular normative grounds and implications of particular policies (e.g., language rights, land claims, religious exemptions, etc.) rather than on differentiated treatment or minority rights in general. Within the last 20 years, there has been a strong contextual turn in normative theories of multiculturalism that also has led to a certain fragmentation of the field. Simultaneously, this fragmentation has provided new material for political philosophers to work on, for assessing the more general, foundational questions of multiculturalism and minority rights anew.

This article will largely follow the above division of debates on multiculturalism as descriptive, normative, and policy-oriented. As the main focus of political philosophers and theorists of multiculturalism has been on normative questions relating to the appropriate responses to cultural diversity, my treatment of the descriptive and policy-oriented debates will also focus on those features of the debate that bear upon these normative questions. This article will thus begin with a discussion on conceptualizations of culture, insofar as these bear upon the broader normative questions of responding to cultural diversity. The article will then turn to different rationales and justifications behind state responses to cultural diversity, after which a discussion of some of the normatively relevant features behind different types of cultural policies will follow.

The Role of Culture in Normative Multiculturalism

Among theorists of multiculturalism, culture is often described as a broad system of norms, values, beliefs, and practices that affect members of that culture in various ways and to different extents. Culture defines the boundaries of the imaginable, although it is clear that these boundaries are malleable, changeable, and can have very different impacts on different people. To a large extent, contemporary theorists of multiculturalism agree on the contestability and heterogeneity of cultures, and shun away from rigid, essentializing notions of culture. Cultural essentialism—that is, the view of cultures as having some inalienable core or essence—has become one of the pet peeves of contemporary theorists of multiculturalism. At the same time, it has provided a backdrop for many of the critiques of cultural accommodation and minority rights, as these are often seen as relying on those essentialized notions of culture that the theorists explicitly reject (see, e.g., Mason, 2007; Eisenberg, 2013; Kymlicka, 2015). For example, as the feminist critique has forcefully put forward, the aims to accommodate minority cultures and minority cultural practices have often relied on a static and homogenizing understanding of minority cultures that, in many cases, has also reflected the patriarchal norms and the (traditionally male) leaders’ understandings of their culture (Okin, 1999; Shachar, 2001; Benhabib, 2002; Phillips, 2010). Minority practices (such as religious dress codes or norms of marriage) have been viewed as needing to be accommodated, precisely because they are viewed as essential, inalienable elements of that culture. This, however, ignores the variety of interpretations and contestations of such practices. At its worst, the essentialization of minority cultures and cultural practices may also lead to the essentialization and culturization of minority members, who are viewed, not as free agents, but as products of their culture, incapable of doing anything else but what their culture dictates (Volpp, 2000; Phillips, 2007).

In response to some of the problems of essentialism, theorists of multiculturalism have attempted to reconceptualize culture in order for it to be more accommodative of internal dissent, as well as of the agency of minority members. The constructivist views of culture emphasize the malleability and interconnectedness of cultures as narratively constituted and continuously contested frameworks of meaning (Johnson, 2000; Benhabib, 2002; Wedeen, 2002). For many, culture is viewed not in terms of its contents (that is, values, norms, beliefs, and practices), but in terms of its structure, as a context within which the agency of the members of that culture is exercised (Kymlicka, 1989, 1995, 2015; Raz, 1994; Patten, 2014). Rather than being determined by the traditional norms and values of one’s culture, culture is seen as a formative context within which individual members live and from which they make meaningful choices in their lives. Viewing culture in terms of its structure has the benefit of allowing for different interpretations of cultural contents, as well as changes in these contents, while nevertheless maintaining cultural continuity by virtue of cultural membership.

While the structural understandings of culture would thus seem to escape at least some of the accusations of cultural essentialism, the implications for normative questions about cultural accommodation remain unclear. While there may sometimes be grounds to accommodate certain cultural groups simply by virtue of their group status (rather than by virtue of any particular cultural contents that the members of the group happen to share), many issues of cultural accommodation are not issues of accommodating groups or group members in the abstract, but of accommodating particular cultural contents. For example, in the case of indigenous peoples, there may well be good grounds (based, for example, on historical injustices) to accommodate indigenous peoples by virtue of them being a distinct group(s) of peoples. The actual means of accommodation, however, often also need to take into account the actual cultural contents—in this case, for example the indigenous peoples’ relation to the land and to traditional indigenous ways of living. While a structural understanding of culture may thus be able to allow for variation and change in people’s understandings of what the culture in question contains, the actual means of cultural accommodation often cannot avoid taking a stand on the contents that are to be accommodated (Vitikainen, 2015). This is especially so in cases where questions of cultural accommodation involve a specific cultural or religious practice, such as the wearing of particular attire (e.g., headscarf, turban, or yarmulke) or the practice of a particular form of marriage (e.g., polygamy). In these cases, the accommodation cannot be based on a purely structural understanding of culture, but must also involve an assessment of the role and importance of the practice within that culture. This again opens up the door to the accusations of cultural essentialism. For example, while the accommodation of a particular practice (X) need not mean the reification of X as an essential, inalienable, and unchangeable element of the culture in question, the accommodation of X nevertheless affirms X as an important element of that culture—as otherwise there would be no need to accommodate X. This may (although it need not) put pressure on the members of the minority group to conform to X, as the importance and centrality of X to their culture is now recognized, not only internally, but also externally by the accommodating institution.

Owing to the difficulties associated with the concept of culture, and the accusations of cultural accommodations as being underpinned by cultural essentialism, many theorists have started to question the usefulness of the term “culture” in debates on multiculturalism (Appiah, 2005; Phillips, 2007). The talk about “accommodation of cultures or cultural groups” is both imprecise and insensitive to the complexities and variations within any culture or cultural group. It also hides the fact that the proper subject of cultural accommodation is often not culture per se, but some related, and often equally varied and contested, category of, for example, religion, language, ethnicity, nationality, or race (Song, 2009). The normative issues relating to, say, language accommodation may be very different from the normative issues relating to religion, and the debates on how to respond to people’s “cultural” differences should take this into account.

The notion of “culture” has nevertheless remained as a useful shorthand for describing those elements of human existence (including language, religion, ethnicity, etc.) that are viewed as sufficiently, and relevantly, valuable in order to raise questions and claims about how these elements, or the possible disadvantages related to these elements, should be responded to. What remains contested, however, is the nature of the value of culture and its implications for the normative questions of cultural accommodation. The main lines of division here are those of the individualist and collectivist views on the nature and value of culture, and the instrumentalist and non-instrumentalist views on the value of culture.

According to the individualists, cultures are valuable only, and insofar as, they contribute to the well-being of their individual members. Cultures do not possess any moral standing of their own, but the value of culture is reducible, without a remainder, to the value it has for contributing to the lives of individuals. According to individualist instrumentalists, such as Kymlicka (1989, 1995), cultures are valuable only insofar as they provide individuals with some other good, such as individual autonomy, freedom, or well-being. Instrumentalist views of the value of culture have, however, been criticized for not being able to capture many of the ways in which people themselves relate to their culture. People do not normally value culture due to it, say, providing them their individual context of choice, but they view cultures—or specific cultural practices—as valuable in themselves (Margalit & Halbertal, 1994). Rather than being a necessary precondition or a mere means to some other good (such as individual autonomy), for many, participation in a culture may, in itself, be a substantive element of a good life. At the very least, the acknowledgement of some instrumental value of culture does not, by itself, exclude the possibility of cultures also being non-instrumentally valuable.

According to the collectivists, such as Taylor (1995), cultures are viewed as irreducibly social goods. This means that the good of culture is an inherently social good that cannot be reduced to or accounted for by its individual parts. Cultures are both produced and consumed collectively, and due to the collective nature of culture, the value of culture cannot be reduced to the value it has for its individual members. Further, Taylor argues that the value of culture is not only collectivist but also non-instrumental. Culture operates as a framework that makes our actions and ways of life intelligible and is an essential and inalienable element of that which we identify as good. As a locus of goods, culture not only brings about other goods, but is constitutive of them. Being a constitutive element of that which we identify as good, culture is not merely instrumentally valuable, but a good in itself. The opponents of Taylor’s view have questioned both the collectivist and non-instrumentalist components of the theory. From the fact that individuals cannot enjoy their cultures on their own, it does not necessarily follow that the value of culture could not be accounted for by reference to the role it plays in the lives of individuals (Griffin, 1986; Moore & Crisp, 1996). Nor does it seem to follow that, being a constitutive element of the good, culture should also be viewed as a good in itself, as there are certainly many bads that culture can also be constitutive of (Moore & Crisp, 1996). According to some theorists of multiculturalism, the value of culture is also related to the value of cultural diversity—that is, to the value of the existence of many cultures rather than, or in addition to, the value of any particular culture (Tully, 1995; Parekh, 2000).

While there is no straightforward correlation between one’s views on the nature and value of culture and one’s views on cultural accommodation, these differences may nevertheless tend towards slightly different directions when it comes to the questions of who, or what, should be accommodated, and the possible limits of such accommodation. While individualists often emphasize that accommodation of people’s cultural differences must be compatible with, and constrained by, the rights of individuals (e.g., Kymlicka, 1995; Raz, 1994; Phillips, 2007), collectivists may (although do not necessarily) hold that the interests of cultural groups may, on occasions, also override the interests of their individual members (e.g., Margalit & Halbertal, 1994; Reaume, 2000). While non-instrumentalists may argue for the need to preserve cultures and certain cultural practices—even to the extent of these practices having rights over those who participate in them (cf. Weinstock, 2003)—instrumentalists often take a more modest view, arguing that cultural accommodation should only enable people to participate, preserve, or (for that matter) change their cultures, should they wish to (Kymlicka, 1995). While non-instrumentalists may argue for the need to respect cultures—including specific cultural traditions and practices—instrumentalists often acknowledge the importance of cultures for some people without necessarily making any normative judgments about its contents. The valuing of cultural diversity may also pull in different directions. On the one hand, it may lead to forceful attempts to preserve, or even to exacerbate, differences between cultural groups. On the other hand, it may also lead to the increased awareness of both differences and commonalities of cultures and the need for extended intercultural dialogue (Parekh, 2000, 2008; for other approaches that emphasize intercultural dialogue and deliberation, see e.g., Benhabib, 2002; Festenstein, 2005; Song, 2007; see also 3.2 below).

While the notion of culture and the different understandings of the value of culture are central to many normative theories of multiculturalism, not all types of multiculturalism place equally strong emphasis on such understandings of the nature and value of culture. In many cases, the rationale for accommodating cultural (and often also other, such as sexual and gender) minorities is rather grounded on the acknowledgement of existing power asymmetries and structural impediments that members of minority groups are faced with (e.g., Young, 1990; Galeotti, 2002; Modood, 2013). These include (although are not exhausted by) established expectations, prejudices and implicit biases that often lead to exclusion and marginalization of minorities and minority members.

To sum up, the notion of culture has played a central role in debates on normative multiculturalism, being both contested and acknowledged as one of the motivating forces behind cultural accommodation. The debates on cultural essentialism, the nature and value of culture, and the role of cultural prejudices and disparities of power, have all shaped contemporary understandings of cultural diversity. At the same time, they have also provided important background material for many normative theories of multiculturalism, to which this article will now turn.

Rationales and Justifications For and Against Cultural Accommodation

Normative multiculturalism affirms the state of cultural diversity as an acceptable state of affairs, and looks for sustainable grounds and means for accommodating this diversity. As many of the normative debates on multiculturalism have focused on justificatory frameworks for cultural accommodation, and the justificatory grounds for (or against) particular types of state policies—namely, culturally differentiated (or, minority) rights—much of this section will also be dedicated to these issues. In this section the terms “culturally differentiated” and “minority rights” are used interchangeably as umbrella terms for a variety of state policies that aim to accommodate minority cultural groups and/or their members with the provision of special rights or differentiated treatment (for a more detailed analysis of different types of minority rights, see section “Multicultural Policies”). However, the case for cultural accommodation and differentiated rights needs to begin by establishing a rationale through which the state to take cultural considerations into account when designing state policies, before moving onto the establishment of particular types of policies as acceptable, or even required, responses to cultural diversity.

Identity- and Equality-Based Arguments for Cultural Concern

In order to make a case for accommodating people’s cultural differences with particular types of state policies, one needs to first establish why culture (variously construed) should be something that the state should extend its concern over. This rationale is typically established by referring to either, or both, equality-based arguments or identity-based arguments for cultural concern.

The identity-based arguments begin from an acknowledgement of one’s culture and cultural membership as central elements of one’s identity, and the need for the state to acknowledge, and recognize, this identity as worthy of equal respect and concern. According to the recognition theorists, such as Taylor (1994) and Honneth (1995, 2003), recognition operates as an essential element in the constitution of people’s self-respect and self-esteem, with nonrecognition or misrecognition resulting to serious harm and injury. In a culturally diverse society, it is further argued, the state should recognize and respect, not only the equal worth of different individuals, but also the equal worth of different identities (see also Appiah, 2005). This is especially important in relation to minority groups whose identities may traditionally have been viewed as deviant, of lesser value, or insignificant. Some versions of the identity-based argument also extend the requirement of recognition and respect from the level of social identities to particular minority norms and practices, as a mere toleration of minority practices is said to fail in showing sufficient respect to minority cultures and those taking part in these practices (Taylor, 1994; Tully, 1995; see also Galeotti, 2002; Balint, 2017).

In contrast, the equality-based arguments do not begin with an acknowledgement of the centrality of people’s cultural identities for their self-respect, but rather with a relational account about those disadvantages that members of minority cultural groups are faced with. Following Kymlicka (1989, 1995), any society (including Western liberal societies) is organized in accordance with a particular set of cultural norms and practices that are manifested, for example, in the organization of the common working week, public holidays, school curricula, national symbols, etc. This cultural embeddedness of public institutions puts members of minority cultures in an unequal position in comparison to the majority. While the majority has an automatic access to their own cultural context (e.g., to the celebration of majority religious holidays), members of minority cultures need to negotiate their own cultural practices (e.g., the celebration of minority religious holidays) in a framework that does not automatically support these practices.

While the above story shows some of the sources and structures of culturally induced disadvantages, the equality-based argument needs to be complemented with an account of why these disadvantages, derived from the cultural embeddedness of social organization, should also be viewed as something that the state should be concerned about and aim to rectify. In Kymlicka’s case, the equality-based argument is thus complemented with two further arguments: one having to do with the involuntariness of one’s cultural membership (the involuntariness argument), the other having to do with the importance of this membership to one’s identity and well-being (the importance argument). In accordance with the so-called luck-egalitarian view according to which people may be held responsible for their choices, but not for their unchosen circumstances (e.g., Dworkin, 1981; Lippert-Rasmussen, 2015; for specifically luck-egalitarian approaches to minority rights, see Quong, 2006; Lippert-Rasmussen, 2009), Kymlicka argues that people should not be held responsible or be expected to pay for the disadvantages based on their minority status. As one’s cultural membership is viewed as involuntary—that is, as something one has not decided to belong to nor can easily school oneself out of—one should also not be expected to suffer or pay the price of such membership. Furthermore, as cultural membership is viewed, not only involuntary, but also as one of the central elements of one’s identity and well-being, the incurred disadvantages become especially pressing. Being both involuntary as well as a central element of one’s identity, culturally induced disadvantages become proper concerns for a state that is committed to treating all of its members with equal concern and respect.

It is, of course, debatable to what extent the identity-based arguments, or the equality-based argument complemented with the involuntariness and importance arguments, suffice in providing the kind of rationale for the state to be concerned with culture, and to take minority cultures into consideration when designing state policies. However, the disagreement here is not so much on whether culture does or should play some role in the organization of society—this is often taken for granted given the cultural embeddedness of public institutions—but what kind of role culture, and especially minority cultures, should play when state policies are designed. The main line of division is between those who view cultural differences as also providing grounds for differentiated treatment (including special rights given to minority cultural groups and/or their members) and those who promote a difference-blind approach to cultural diversity. The following sections present some of the main arguments that have been used to justify, as well as to criticize, culturally differentiated treatment—namely, autonomy-based, toleration-based, equality-based, and neutrality-based arguments for and against minority rights.

Autonomy-Based Arguments for Minority Rights

The autonomy-based arguments for minority rights begin from a (comprehensive) liberal commitment to the value of individual autonomy, and a view of the role of the (liberal) state in catering for this autonomy. Individual autonomy, broadly conceived, refers to individuals’ capacities to make meaningful choices about their lives and to live their lives in accordance with these choices. Within debates on cultural accommodation, autonomy-based arguments have been used both for justifying culturally differentiated rights and for indicating certain limitations to these rights.

Perhaps the most discussed autonomy-based account—that of Will Kymlicka’s autonomy-based argument for minority rights—combines the comprehensive liberal commitment to the value of individual autonomy with a structural understanding of culture as a context of choice and an equality-based rationale for state concern. According to Kymlicka (1989, 1995), culture provides individuals the context within which they can make meaningful choices, i.e. within which their autonomy is exercised. As the social institutions of any society (including Western liberal societies) are culturally embedded, minority members lack their own context of choice, and thus also the conditions via which their autonomy could be exercised. This, according to Kymlicka, constitutes an injustice. While the members of the majority have an automatic access to their own familiar context of choice, minority members must either use substantial amounts of their resources to uphold a similar context of their own or abandon their familiar context altogether. According to Kymlicka, this injustice can be rectified by minority rights, such as rights of self-determination for national minorities and indigenous groups. Notably, while Kymlicka’s solution thus involves the granting of collective rights of self-determination to the minority groups in question, the purpose of these rights is not to provide for the collective autonomy as such, but to cater to the autonomy of individuals—that is, minority members. By granting groups rights to self-determination, minorities are able to develop and uphold the kinds of social institutions that are embedded in their own cultural norms and practices, thus also allowing individual members of such groups to exercise their autonomy within their own, familiar context of choice.

The grounding of minority rights on individual autonomy, however, also creates certain limitations on the ways in which these rights, such as collective rights of self-determination, can be exercised. Most notably, minority groups cannot use their right to self-determination to suppress the autonomy of their own members, as this would contradict the very grounds upon which the right to self-determination is established. This requirement has prompted criticism of the autonomy-based accounts as being too restrictive, only being able to incorporate groups that are already liberal (Galston, 1995; Tomasi, 1995; Deveaux, 2000; Kukathas, 2003). Furthermore, the grounding of minority rights on individual autonomy does not, on its own, establish why catering for the autonomy of minority members would in some cases lead to claims for self-determination, while in other cases it would seem to be enough that the minority members’ choices are accommodated within the cultural context of the majority. That is, it does not establish why the catering to the autonomy of, say, members of a particular national minority would seem to require the upholding of the minority nation’s own cultural framework, while the catering for the autonomy of, for example, immigrants or most religious groups would not lead to similar claims of upholding their own context of choice. As Tariq Modood has forcefully argued, Kymlicka’s theory seems to have not only a liberal bias, but also a secular bias that renders the theory largely incapable of answering many of the contemporary challenges of culturally—and, especially religiously—diverse societies (Modood, 2013). More generally, Kymlicka’s autonomy-based account would only seem to establish the role of cultural context—any cultural context—as a prerequisite for choice, but fail in showing why the minority members should be able to make their choices within their own cultural context of choice (Waldron, 1995).

While the autonomy-based arguments grounded on the view of culture as a context of choice aim to establish the need to cater to the minority cultural frameworks, the questions of individual autonomy have also become central to the debates on the accommodation of particular cultural or religious practices within mainstream society (see, e.g., Levey, 2015). For example, many of the discussions on religious toleration, including some of the most debated cases of religious headscarves (including the hijab, niqab, and burqa), have revolved around questions of whether the wearers of such scarves can be seen as wearing them out of their own free will or whether they have somehow been coerced into wearing them (Hirschmann, 1998; Lyon & Spini, 2004; Laborde, 2006, 2008; Phillips, 2007; Ferracioli, 2013). Much of the debate on autonomy and coercion has focused on how to understand individual autonomy, with the proceduralist conceptions of autonomy focusing on the proper procedures and conditions necessary for the individuals to reflect and make their choices (procedural independence), while the substantive conceptions also place requirements on the actual contents of these choices (see, e.g., Christman & Anderson, 2005; specifically in relation to multicultural accommodation, see Galeotti, 2015). In debates on cultural accommodation, the questions of whether one’s cultural or religious commitments (such as the wearing of the headscarf) have been freely chosen have operated to two directions. On the one hand, it is often presumed that one of the preconditions for allowing, tolerating, or positively accommodating any particular practice is that the person engaging in such practice has freely chosen to do so. On the other hand, it has also been argued that the fact of a particular practice being freely chosen may, on occasions, also lead into the practitioner of this practice being responsible for the potential costs involved—especially in cases where the allowing of such practice would be particularly burdensome to others (Jones, 2015).

Diversity Liberalism and the Quest for Toleration

In contrast to autonomy-based accounts, so-called diversity liberals reject individual autonomy as the basis upon which responses to cultural diversity should be constructed. According to the diversity liberals, such as Kukathas (1992, 2003) and Galston (1995), a comprehensive commitment to the value of individual autonomy puts unnecessary limitations on the kinds of groups that a culturally diverse society is able to accommodate. Not all groups (e.g., illiberal religious groups with hierarchical power structures) place high value on individual autonomy, nor should they—given the liberal commitment to the freedom of individuals to associate and to live their lives as they themselves wish—be forced to do so. According to diversity liberals, minority groups should be free to conduct their own affairs as they please, as long as two constraints are met: one, that they respect the freedom of other groups to do the same (group-level mutual toleration), and two, that they also respect the right of their own members to leave (individual right of exit). This, it is argued, not only gives minority groups maximal freedom to conduct their own affairs, but also protects individual freedom of conscience without requiring this conscience to have been autonomously chosen.

While diversity liberal accounts would thus seem to be more accommodating of different kinds of cultural groups (including illiberal groups) than the autonomy-based accounts, this does not necessarily mean that the diversity liberals would also be more willing to accommodate minority groups by granting them minority rights. To the contrary, many (albeit not necessarily all) diversity liberals are very skeptical towards minority rights. Their reasons for being so, however, are not necessarily derived from the above normative commitments to maximal individual freedom (including freedom of (dis)association) and group-level mutual toleration, but are often based on an independent, cultural libertarian view of the role of the state in the cultural market place. As cultural libertarians, such as Kukathas (1992, 2003), argue, the state should not base its policies on an attempt to accommodate different cultures or rectify culturally induced disadvantages, but should rather let the cultural marketplace decide which cultures are to dominate, prevail, or disappear. In Kukathas’s view, there are no legitimate grounds for the state to interfere in the cultural marketplace, as any interference, including an attempt to rectify culturally induced disadvantages, will lead to a distortion of the marketplace and the creation of other sets of disadvantages both within and across group borders. Although cultural libertarians do not deny the role that culture can play in the organization of mainstream institutions (it may, indeed, be very practicable to for example organize the common working week in accordance with the majority religion), culture should not lead to differentiated treatment by way of minority rights. The culturally libertarian state is a state that is not interested in helping, or hampering, people’s ways of engaging with their culture, but adopts a view of benign neglect, allowing, but not supporting, minority cultures and cultural practices.

In opposition to the benign neglect, or hands-off approach of cultural libertarians, it has been argued that by doing nothing, the state in effect prioritizes the status quo and leaves many of the structural disadvantages encountered by minority members unaddressed. In a society organized in accordance with majority cultural norms and practices, members of minority cultures do not have the same resources available for observing their own cultural or religious practices, and they may also be disadvantaged by the incompatibility of the minority practices with the culturally embedded rules and norms of the broader society (Kymlicka, 1992, 1995). On the other hand, the diversity-liberal, tolerationist approach has also been criticized for not providing sufficient protections for those most vulnerable within cultural groups (often, women and children, and other minorities within minorities), as the tolerationist approach is also willing to condone a group’s internal discrimination and suppression on the basis of maximal freedom of association (Shachar, 2001; Okin, 2002; Phillips, 2007). In response to these accusations, diversity liberals have further emphasized the preconditions for a group’s right to decide about its internal affairs, ranging from minimal (formal) rights of exit (Kukathas, 2012) to more substantive conditions, such as in the form of civic education or the enabling (financially and psychologically) of individual’s capacities to take advantage of their right to exit (Galston, 1995; Spinner-Halev, 2000). In light of the default position of allowing groups to decide about their internal affairs, it remains an open question what constitutes sufficient protections for individual group members and how these protections are to be effected (for debate, see, e.g., Eisenberg & Spinner-Halev, 2005; Borchers & Vitikainen, 2012).

The Liberal Egalitarian Critique

While the cultural libertarian, tolerationist arguments against culturally differentiated treatment are grounded strongly on the ideals of a free cultural marketplace and the minimal state, another form of liberal universalism—that of universalist liberal egalitarianism—bases its skepticism towards differentiated treatment on the basic liberal egalitarian commitments to state neutrality and equal treatment, and particular interpretations thereof. In opposition to egalitarian arguments for differentiated treatment, Barry (2001, 2002) argues that the relevant notion of state neutrality requires, not that state policies should be neutral in effect, but that they should be neutral in justification. That is, particular policies, rules and regulations, can in certain cases be disadvantageous to members of minority groups, as long as these policies are neutrally justified. For example, the rule requiring construction workers to wear a safety helmet on a construction site may not be equal in effect (it may, de facto, disadvantage turban wearing Sikhs from working on construction sites), but this does not necessarily mean that the rule in question would also be unjustifiably discriminatory. As long as the rule is neutrally justified (in this case, for example by work safety considerations), there are no justice-based grounds to complain about its unequal effects. While there is certainly more to Barry’s treatment of cases where a universal rule is seen to put a strain on minority members, the underlying principle remains: in cases where there are good, non-culture-related grounds for the universal application of a particular rule, no justice-based complaints apply. This view also has implications for culturally differentiated rights, in particular for the so-called “rule-and-exemption” approach (esp. Barry, 2001, chap. 2). While Barry allows that there may be other, pragmatic grounds to, for example, exempt turban-wearing Sikhs from wearing a safety helmet on construction sites, these reasons are pragmatic rather than based on justice. In cases where a general universal rule (such as the safety helmet requirement) conflicts with a cultural or religious practice (such as the wearing of a turban), the relevant question to ask is not whether a particular group should be exempted from the rule, but whether there are good non-culture-based reasons for upholding the rule in the first place. If there are good non-culture-based reasons, no (justice-based) grounds for exemptions arise and the rule should be upheld for everyone (despite its unequal impact). If there are no good non-culture-based reasons, there is no reason to uphold the rule in the first place and it can be changed, thus also accommodating those who—given the lack of good non-culture-based reasons for upholding the rule—are unjustly disadvantaged by the rule in question.

The underlying rationale of the liberal egalitarian critique of culturally differentiated treatment rests on two assumptions, one concerning the nature of culture and the other concerning the nature of equality of opportunity. Contrary to the previously discussed luck-egalitarian rationale for cultural concern (section “Identity- and Equality-Based Arguments for Cultural Concern”), Barry denies that people’s cultural commitments are relevantly unchosen or create a relevant kind of disadvantage that leads to claims for compensation. In contrast to physical disabilities, for example, culture does not prevent people from doing things (such as taking off a turban in order to wear a safety helmet), nor does it therefore hamper the relevant kind of equality of opportunity that is the concern of liberal states. In opposition to this, critics have questioned both the underlying line of argument through which Barry comes to reject differentiated treatment, as well as the ways in which equality of opportunity in terms of identical choice sets manages to capture what is at stake in cases where people’s cultural or religious practices conflict with certain generally established rules. Even if one were to accept Barry’s basic liberal egalitarian premises—including his ideal of equality of opportunity—it may still be questioned whether the upholding of universal rules would be necessary or sufficient for such equality of opportunity to obtain (Holtug, 2009; see also Caney, 2002). Further, as Miller (2002) has argued, it may not be enough that people have objectively equal opportunities to X (e.g., work on a construction site), but that they also have opportunities to X without incurring excessive costs (by, e.g., taking off the turban). According to Quong (2006), focusing on particular opportunities (e.g., work, education, or culture) fails to recognize the level on which equality of opportunity should obtain. That is, one should not only have equal opportunities to work, or equal opportunities to engage with one’s culture, but also be able to combine these things—that is, have equal opportunities to combine one’s work with one’s cultural commitments.

State Neutrality as Neutrality of Treatment

A recent revival in debates on the basic normative grounds for minority rights builds upon the previous discussions on liberal neutrality and the requirement of the liberal state to be neutral with respect to people’s conceptions of the good. In contrast to the two standard interpretations of liberal neutrality as neutrality of effects and neutrality of justification (see section “The Liberal Egalitarian Critique”), Patten (2014) has proposed a third conception of liberal neutrality—that of neutrality of treatment—through which he lays strong moral grounds for cultural minority rights. According to Patten, the liberal state can, in a relevant sense, be neutral with respect to people’s different conceptions of the good, as long as this neutrality is interpreted in terms of neutrality of treatment. In this sense of the term, state policies are in violation of the requirement of neutrality of treatment when, relative to an appropriate baseline, its policies are more accommodating towards some conceptions of the good than they are of others (Patten, 2014, p. 115). Should the state adopt a policy that is expected to make a particular conception of the good more successful, then—in accordance with the requirement of neutrality of treatment—it should also adopt an equivalent policy for the rival conceptions of the good. Notably, neutrality of treatment is different from neutrality of effects as it does not focus on the ways in which a particular policy may, or may not, lead to the actual success in the pursuit of any particular conception of the good, but on the ways in which the policy is making any particular conception of the good more or less realizable. This view of neutrality of treatment follows from prior liberal commitments to the values of self-determination and equal consideration, aiming to ensure fair opportunities for self-determination of all citizens (Patten, 2014, p. 127). In certain cases—most notably in cases where the liberal state cannot opt to not recognize a particular culture or a particular language—the requirement of neutrality of treatment also brings forth the requirement of minority rights. For example, if state policies only support majority language educational institutions, these policies are not neutral in the relevant sense, as they only provide specific assistance to majority language groups and not minorities. In these cases, neutrality of treatment requires that the state extend its recognition to minority language groups as well by providing them equivalent assistance to that of the majority.

While Patten’s argument for minority rights, based on the notion of neutrality as neutrality of treatment, can be seen as providing a novel alternative to some of the previous liberal approaches to minority rights, it may also be subject to some of the same criticisms. For example, it has been noted that Patten’s account may fail to acknowledge the specific character of culture, and the specificity of cultural minority rights, as the focus of the argument lies not on culture per se, but on a much broader category of “people’s conceptions of the good” (Bardon, 2015). Relatedly, while neutrality of treatment may provide strong moral grounds for minority rights, it may also be contested, in which cases and according to which principles deviations from neutrality of treatment may be justified. Like any theory of minority rights, Patten’s account of neutrality of treatment also needs to define its scope by resting on certain differentiations between minority groups (e.g., immigrants/national minorities), which may or may not be helpful in differentiating between those eligible and not eligible for minority rights (Lu, 2015; see also Patten, 2015). Further, it has been questioned whether Patten’s conception of neutrality in terms of neutrality of treatment manages to surpass some of the difficulties associated with the alternative conceptions and whether some other conception of neutrality would do a better job in protecting minority cultural groups (e.g., Cordelli, 2016; Lippert-Rasmussen, 2016; see also Patten, 2016).

Multicultural Policies

As a policy-oriented term, multiculturalism refers to the application and implementation of a variety of state policies that are designed to accommodate people’s cultural differences. This accommodation may refer either to the purpose of enabling people to live in accordance with their own cultural norms and practices, and/or to the purpose of enabling them to engage in the social, economic, and political life of the mainstream society. Multicultural policies do not typically aim to create diversity or difference, although they may contribute to the sustaining and cherishing of such diversity, as well as enabling it to flourish. Depending on the structure and content of the policy in question, as well as on the nature of the group to which the policy refers, different types of multicultural policies incorporate slightly different sets of normative considerations. This part aims to capture some of these normatively relevant differences by identifying five partially overlapping, partially cross-cutting axes on which different types of multicultural policies—most notably differentiated rights—can be categorized. These include (1) the structure of the right in terms of individual vs. collective rights, (2) the object of the policy in terms of the relations that the policy in question pertains to, (3) the nature of the claiming group, (4) the subject matter of the policy in question, and (5) the form and function of the right within the broader social and legal framework.

Structure of Rights: Individual vs. Collective

With respect to the basic structure of rights, minority rights can be divided into individually exercised membership rights and collectively exercised group rights. The individually exercised membership rights are rights that are accorded to individuals by virtue of their membership in the cultural group in question. For example, many religious exemptions, such as exemptions from work or school uniforms in order to allow religious attire (e.g., headscarves, turbans, yarmulkes), are rights that are both accorded to and exercised by individual members of the group, rather than by the group as a collective. In contrast, collectively exercised group rights, such as a group’s right to self-determination, are rights that are both accorded to and exercised by the group as a collective. This may further be interpreted either in the sense of the group—as a unitary entity—possessing the moral agency to exercise such right (this is what Jones (1999) has labeled “corporate group rights”), or in the sense of the right in question being held and exercised jointly by a set of individuals (members of the group), even if none of the individuals possess or can exercise such rights independently.

Some minority rights, such as ethnic quotas or claims for symbolic recognition, do not neatly fit on the axes of membership vs. group rights. For example, quotas for particular ethnic minorities in public offices or educational institutions may be membership rights in the sense of them being taken advantage of by the individual members of the particular minority, but group rights in the sense of the individual benefits depending on the actions of other group members. Claims for symbolic recognition, on the other hand, may not, strictly speaking, be rights that are “exercised” either by the individual or the collective, although they may be seen as benefitting both the individual and the collective, as in the recognition of the historic contributions of a particular minority (e.g., Indigenous Peoples or African-Americans). The different structures of rights, either as individually or as collectively exercised group rights, also give rise to different criticisms and concerns. Most notably, the granting of collective rights of self-determination has raised questions about the relevant characteristics of those groups that should qualify for such rights (see, e.g., Margalit & Raz, 1994; Macedo & Buchanan, 2003), as well as the extent to which the group as a collective can exercise its right over, or even against, its own members (e.g., Eisenberg & Spinner-Halev, 2005). Individually exercised membership rights, on the other hand, have been criticized for their tendency to be applied to either over- or under-inclusive groups of people by using group membership as a proxy that does not always coincide with those people whose benefit the right in question is supposed to serve (Barry, 2001; Vitikainen, 2009, 2015).

Object of Regulation: Relations within Society

Different types of multicultural policies can be seen as pertaining to different types of relations within the society. These include relations between (a) different individuals (whether members of the same group or members of different groups), (b) individuals and the state, (c) cultural groups and the state, (d) cultural groups and its members, (e) groups and nonmembers, and (f) relations between different (minority) cultural groups (cf. Shachar, 2001, p. 27). While collectively exercised rights for self-determination, for example, may be seen as primarily affecting the relations between the group and the state (c), individually exercised exemptions pertain primarily to the relations between the state and the individual (b). Neither of these rights, however, can be analyzed solely in terms of the group–state or individual–state relation, but have much broader scope. Rights of self-determination also, in effect, regulate relations between the group and its members (by placing the group members under group authority), as well as between the group and nonmembers (by, for example, restricting nonmembers’ access to group practices). Individually exercised exemptions, while seemingly regulating the relation between individuals and the state, may also have a profound effect on other relations, including the relation in which different individuals (members and nonmembers) stand to one another. For example, the granting of an exemption for turban-wearing Sikhs or scarf-wearing Muslims from professional uniforms (e.g., in the military or police force) pertains, not only to those individuals’ relation to the state (by granting them effective opportunities to join the said professions), but also to the relation within which these individuals stand in relation to others (by granting them effectively equal opportunities to join the said professions) (see also 2.4. above). In most cases, culturally differentiated rights also have an effect on the relations between different cultural groups, as the granting of a right to a particular group or its members always also incorporates a decision about which groups are to be accommodated and which are not.

The questions about the relations between groups and individuals have also been central to recent debates on so-called interculturalism. While the debates on multiculturalism and interculturalism incorporate several themes (see, e.g., Meer et al., 2016), one of the dividing lines is said to be interculturalism’s better ability to account for people’s multiple commitments and memberships in various groups. This understanding of people’s cultural memberships has also led to an increasing emphasis on the need for intercultural dialogue, although it is clear that neither the acknowledgement of the plurality of people’s memberships nor the emphasis on intercultural dialogue are novel to interculturalism, but are also present in many traditional theories of multiculturalism (Parekh, 2016; Kymlicka, 2016). The relations within which different cultural groups and members of these groups stand in and communicate with one another are also often issues that do not fall within the realm of legal rights or regulation, but incorporate other, nonlegal questions of social organization, group relations, as well as public and private attitudes towards diversity and difference (Levy, 2010; Lægaard, 2011; see also Levy, 2015).

Types of Groups

Another normatively relevant difference in connection to minority rights relates to the kinds of groups that are seen as potential claimants of culturally differentiated rights. In the literature on multiculturalism, it has been relatively common to differentiate between national minorities (e.g., the Welsh, Catalan), indigenous peoples (e.g., Native Americans, Sami), and immigrants, additionally including—perhaps not entirely justifiably—other ethno-cultural groups (e.g., Roma, African-Americans). This differentiation aims to capture both the nature of the claims that the different groups tend to put forward, as well as some of the normatively relevant differences in the ways in which different groups have become to occupy their current status and the kinds of disadvantages they are encountered with. For example, while the national minorities and indigenous peoples tend to put forward claims for various forms of group autonomy, including claims to develop and maintain their own social and political institutions, most immigrants and ethno-cultural groups tend not to pursue such claims, but rather hope to be accommodated and included into the life of the broader mainstream society. This difference is also reflected in the kinds of policies that aim to respond to the different claims of these groups by various forms of self-determination on the one hand, and various forms of “polyethnic” or accommodation rights on the other (Kymlicka, 1995, 2001; see also Multiculturalism Policy Index).

The mere fact that different types of groups tend to seek and be accorded different types of minority rights, does not, however, suffice to justify why, for example, indigenous peoples should be entitled to rights of self-determination while, for example, immigrant groups from different cultural backgrounds should not. The typical ways to account for these differences include arguments that resort to for example historical differences or issues of territorial concentration, although it remains contested whether these arguments, on their own or combined with others, suffice to capture the kinds of differences that the three-fold division between national minorities, indigenous peoples, and immigrants is aiming to capture (Young, 1997; Carens, 1997; Choudry, 2002). For example, it has been argued that the historical injustices and/or the lack of choice in being subsumed to live under an alien cultural context provide strong normative grounds for the self-determination of indigenous peoples and (at least some) national minorities, but not for immigrants who have, presumably willingly and knowingly, left their own cultural context and entered another (Kymlicka, 1995; see also Patten, 2014). However, while the argument from historical injustices may be successful in identifying some groups eligible for the right of self-determination, it may be less successful in disqualifying others. The arguments from historical injustices and/or lack of choice also seem to apply to refugees as well as to other ethno-cultural groups (e.g., African-Americans) who, despite having suffered major (historical) injustices and having had no say in leaving their own cultural context and entering another, are not typically viewed as groups eligible for rights of self-determination. In the face of such controversies, it is sometimes pointed out that minority rights, including a group’s right to self-determination, are constrained by pragmatic considerations, making, for example, the group’s size, its territorial concentration, as well as the group’s organizational structure, relevant for the group’s ability to enjoy its right to self-determination—although it remains contested to what extent these pragmatic considerations could also be used to justify the rights of self-determination of some groups and not others (Carens, 1997, 2000). Regardless of the difficulties of categorizing groups and their normatively relevant differences, for most theorists of multiculturalism, groups and group memberships do matter—although it is also clear that not all groups, or members of groups, should be understood, conceptualized or treated the same (for discussion, see Calder et al., 2014).

Subject Matter

The normative considerations relating to different types of multicultural policies also depend on the subject matter that the policy in question pertains to. The issues of language, land, and religion, for example, have all been discussed extensively in scholarship that focuses exclusively on the normative foundations of these particular issues and suggested responses to them, (on language rights, see, e.g., Kymlicka & Patten, 2003; Van Parijs, 2011; on territorial claims: Anaya, 2004; Kolers, 2009; Ypi, 2013; on questions relating to religion: Levey & Modood, 2009; Cohen & Laborde, 2015). To an extent, different issues have also dominated debates on multiculturalism in different contexts, the European debates on multiculturalism being predominantly (although not exclusively) focused on debates on religion, while the North American debates have traditionally been more occupied with issues relating to language. While the categorization of minority rights by their subject matter (e.g., as language rights, land claims, or issues relating to religion) provide a very fruitful starting point for addressing these issues, this categorization does not necessarily coincide with the other categorizations, or normative differences, of, for instance, membership vs. group rights, or rights relating to particular types of groups. For example, while issues of language rights can, fairly uncontroversially, be said to relate to groups with a different linguistic background to that of the majority, minority language groups cut across the traditional group divisions of national minorities, indigenous peoples, and immigrants, and also go beyond this divide (for example, the users of sign language). Language rights also include a vast variety of rights and means for realizing these rights. These range from language assistance (e.g., interpretation services) in public offices, to being entitled to one’s own language education or access to media (often entailing public support for minority language institutions), to being recognized as an official language alongside the majority language(s) (sometimes also entailing responsibilities for other language users to learn the basics of the minority language(s) thus recognized). These rights—as well as the suggested means for realizing them—each include different sets of normative considerations that depend, not only on the form and the nature of the right in question, but also on broader normative questions about what the rights in question are set to do (e.g., guard individual autonomy, protect diversity, or rectify particular type(s) of inequality).

Form and Function

There are several ways to classify minority rights that cut across the four above axes of categorization, focusing more directly on the form and the function of different types of rights within the broader social and legal frameworks. Jacob Levy’s useful classification of cultural rights incorporates eight categories: exemptions, assistance, self-government, external rules (e.g., rules that restrict the outsiders’ access or influence on minority practices), internal rules (e.g., rules that enforce group homogeneity by penalizing nonconformity), recognition/enforcement of traditional legal codes (e.g., the recognition of parallel systems of family law), representation rights, and symbolic claims (Levy, 1997, see also 2000; for alternative categorizations, see, e.g., Kymlicka, 1995, 2001; Jones, 1999; Murphy, 2012). These categories bring forth the particular form of each right and its de facto function within the broader legal system, although it is also clear that there is a substantive amount of variation within each category when it comes to, for example, the intention or the actual beneficiaries of the right in question. For example, Levy describes exemptions as “individually exercised negative liberties granted to members of a religious or cultural group whose practices are such that a generally and ostensibly neutral law would be a distinctive burden on them” (Levy, 1997, p. 25). Examples of such exemptions include exemptions of the turban-wearing Sikhs or veil-wearing Muslims from certain professional dress codes, exemptions for American Indians to use peyote for religious purposes, the right of the Amish not to send their children to school after certain age, exemptions of the Muslims and Jews from humane slaughter laws, the right of the Sikhs or the Roma to carry a ceremonial dagger or knife in public, etc. Although all of these examples can be said to qualify as “exemptions,” the normative considerations involved in each examples are slightly different. For example, the right of the Amish not to send their children to school after a certain age is substantively different from the other exemptions, as the person primarily affected by the exemption (the child) is a different person from that to whom the exemption is granted (parents). In this sense, the case of the Amish pays some, albeit not very much, resemblance to the exemptions from humane slaughter laws or even the right of the Sikhs or the Roma to carry a ceremonial dagger or knife in public, as in these cases, those most affected (or potentially affected) are others than the right-holders themselves. Exempting veil-wearing Muslims from certain professional dress codes may have a very similar rationale to the exemption of American Indians from certain laws on narcotics and hallucinogens (religious freedom), but be very different in terms of the rule or law to which the exemption is granted. While the exemptions from the laws on narcotics and hallucinogens are exemptions from precisely the kinds of actions (usage of drugs) that the law was designed to prevent, the exemptions from professional dress codes are not, at least typically, exemptions from codes that were also intended to prevent people from, for example, wearing religious head scarves or veils in the professions in question. Unless, of course, the exemption were applied in a particular context, such as French laïcité, which may arguably be viewed as being designed precisely to prevent people from wearing the kinds of religious symbols that the (hypothetical) exemption would apply to (for laïcité and the French headscarf affair, see, e.g., Laborde, 2008).

Given the relevance of the context within which any particular right may be applied in, many of the recent discussions on multicultural policies, and their normative bases, have been predominantly contextualized (Carens, 2000, 2004, but see also Lægaard, 2015). This has resulted in extensive analyses of multicultural policies in different countries (e.g., Berman et al., 2004; Modood, Triandafyllidou, & Zapata-Barrero, 2006; Vertovec & Wessendorf, 2010; Balint & Guérard de Latour, 2013; Kivistö & Wahlbeck, 2013), as well as in different contexts, including the assessments of the use of culture in criminal law (e.g., Renteln, 2004; Foblets & Renteln, 2011; Kymlicka et al., 2014) and new mechanisms of minority protection in the international arena (e.g., Kymlicka, 2007, 2008; Castellino, 2012).

Conclusion

Many debates on multiculturalism and political philosophy have revolved around the broader normative questions of the appropriate grounds for responding to cultural diversity, and the implications of these grounds to state policies. The equality-, autonomy-, toleration-, and neutrality-based arguments (discussed in section “Rationales and Justifications For and Against Cultural Accommodation”) provide different grounds for addressing cultural diversity and may—either independently, jointly, or in connection to other, complementary arguments—provide very different views on whether and when people’s cultural differences should be accommodated. One’s understanding of the nature and value of culture, as well as of the existing social structures and power asymmetries (discussed especially in part 1), also bear upon the ways in which cultural (as well as religious, ethnic, national, linguistic, etc.) diversity is understood, and the extents to which this diversity is seen to be in need of accommodation. As different types of multicultural policies have different kinds of normative structures (discussed in part 3), many recent theories of multiculturalism have turned to the assessment of the normative grounds and implications of particular types of state policies. In many cases, these analyses are also grounded to particular contexts, thus providing much needed theoretical analyses of different ways of responding to cultural diversity across the globe.

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