Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity

Paperback | March 15, 2009

byWill Kymlicka

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We are currently witnessing the global diffusion of multiculturalism, both as a political discourse and as a set of international legal norms. States today are under increasing international scrutiny regarding their treatment of ethnocultural groups, and are expected to meet evolvinginternational standards regarding the rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities, and immigrants. This phenomenon represents a veritable revolution in international relations, yet has received little public or scholarly attention. In this book, Kymlicka examines the factors underlying this change, and the challenges it raises. Against those critics who argue that multiculturalism is a threat to universal human rights, Kymlicka shows that the sort of multiculturalism that is being globalized is inspired and constrained by thehuman rights revolution, and embedded in a framework of liberal-democratic values. However, the formulation and implementation of these international norms has generated a number of dilemmas. The policies adopted by international organizations to deal with ethnic diversity are driven by conflicting impulses. Pessimism about the destabilizing consequences of ethnic politicsalternates with optimism about the prospects for a peaceful and democratic form of multicultural politics. The result is often an unstable mix of paralyzing fear and naive hope, rooted in conflicting imperatives of security and justice. Moreover, given the enormous differences in the characteristicsof minorities (eg., their size, territorial concentration, cultural markers, historic relationship to the state), it is difficult to formulate standards that apply to all groups. Yet attempts to formulate more targeted norms that apply only to specific categories of minorities (eg., indigenouspeoples or national minorities) have proven controversial and unstable.Kymlicka examines these dilemmas as they have played out in both the theory and practice of international minority rights protection, including recent developments regarding the rights of national minorities in Europe, the rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas, as well as emerging debates onmulticulturalism in Asia and Africa.Winner of the North American Society of Social Philosophy Book Prize.

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We are currently witnessing the global diffusion of multiculturalism, both as a political discourse and as a set of international legal norms. States today are under increasing international scrutiny regarding their treatment of ethnocultural groups, and are expected to meet evolvinginternational standards regarding the rights of indig...

Will Kymlicka is the author of five books published by Oxford University Press: Liberalism, Community, and Culture (1989), Contemporary Political Philosophy (1990; second edition 2002), Multicultural Citizenship (1995), which was awarded the Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association, and the Bunche Award by the Am...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:March 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199562555

ISBN - 13:9780199562558

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Table of Contents

Part I: The (Re)-Internationalization of State-Minority Relations1. Introduction2. From Post-War Universal Human Rights to Post-Cold War Minority RightsPart II: Making Sense of Liberal Multiculturalism3. The Forms of Liberal Multiculturalism4. The Origins of Liberal Multiculturalism: Sources and Preconditions5. Evaluating Liberal Multiculturalism in PracticePart III: Paradoxes in the Global Diffusion of Liberal Multiculturalism6. The European Experiment7. The Global Challenge8. Conclusion: The Way Forward?Bibliography