The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights

Hardcover | January 15, 2016

byLiav Orgad

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The changing patterns of contemporary immigration have initiated a new form of majority nationalism. In recent years, liberal democracies have introduced immigration and citizenship policies that are designed to defend the majority culture. This trend is fed by fears of immigration - somejustified, some paranoid - which explain the rise of extreme right-wing parties in the West. Liberal theory and human rights law seem to be out of sync with these developments. While they recognize the rights of minority groups to maintain their cultural identity, it is typically assumed thatmajority groups have neither a need for similar rights nor a moral basis for defending them. The majority culture, so the argument goes, "can take care of itself." This singular book shifts the focus from the prevailing discussion of minority rights and, for the first time, directly addresses the cultural rights of majorities. The findings reveal a troubling trend in liberal democracies, which, ironically, in order to protect liberal values, violate the verysame values. The book criticizes this state of affairs and presents a liberal theory of cultural defense that distinguishes between justifiable and unjustifiable attempts by majorities to protect their cultural essentials. It formulates liberal standards by which liberal states can welcomeimmigrants without fundamentally changing their cultural heritage, forsaking their liberal traditions, or slipping into extreme nationalism.The Cultural Defense of Nations presents a timely, thought-provoking thesis on one of the most pressing issues of our time - immigrants, majority groups, and national identity.

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The changing patterns of contemporary immigration have initiated a new form of majority nationalism. In recent years, liberal democracies have introduced immigration and citizenship policies that are designed to defend the majority culture. This trend is fed by fears of immigration - somejustified, some paranoid - which explain the ris...

Liav Orgad is an Assistant Professor of Law at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) and a Marie Curie Fellow at Freie Universitat Berlin. He specializes in comparative constitutional law, comparative immigration law, constitutional identity, and citizenship theory. Dr Orgad has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, Columbia...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pagesPublished:January 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019966868X

ISBN - 13:9780199668687

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Citizen MakersPart I: Before the Majority Becomes the Minority1. New Challenges2. Demographic Anxiety3. Cultural DefensePart II: Legitimate and Illegitimate Defense4. Illiberal Liberalism5. Majority Rights6. National ConstitutionalismConclusion: Immigration Policy and Constitutional Identity