The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory Of Diversity And Freedom

Paperback | November 15, 2007

byChandran Kukathas

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In his major new work Chandran Kukathas offers, for the first time, a book-length treatment of this controversial and influential theory of minority rights. The work is a defence of a form of liberalism and multiculturalism. The general question it tries to answer is: what is the principledbasis of a free society marked by cultural diversity and group loyalties? More particularly, it explains whether such a society requires political institutions which recognize minorities; how far it should tolerate such minorities when their ways differ from those of the mainstream community; towhat extent political institutions should address injustices suffered by minorities at the hands of the wider society, and also at the hands of the powerful within their own communities; what role, if any, the state should play in the shaping of a society's (national) identity; and what fundamentalvalues should guide our reflections on these matters. Its main contention is that a free society is an open society whose fundamental principle is the principle of freedom of association. A society is free to the extent that it is prepared to tolerate in its midst associations which differ ordissent from its standards or practices. An implication of these principles is that political society is also no more than one among other associations; its basis is the willingness of its members to continue to associate under the terms which define it. While it is an 'association of associations',it is not the only such association; it does not subsume all other associations. The principles of a free society describe not a hierarchy of superior and subordinate authorities but an archipelago of competing and overlapping jurisdictions. The idea of a liberal archipelago is defended as one whichsupplies us with a better metaphor of the free society than do older notions such as the body politic, or the ship of state. This work presents a challenge, and an alternative, to other contemporary liberal theories of multiculturalism.

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From the Publisher

In his major new work Chandran Kukathas offers, for the first time, a book-length treatment of this controversial and influential theory of minority rights. The work is a defence of a form of liberalism and multiculturalism. The general question it tries to answer is: what is the principledbasis of a free society marked by cultural div...

Chandran Kukathas is a professor of political theory. He completed his D.Phil at Oxford University in 1986. Prior to coming to the University of Utah, he taught in the School of Politics at University College, University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. He has also taught at the Australian Nation...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.72 inPublished:November 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199219206

ISBN - 13:9780199219209

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Liberal Archipelago2. Human Nature and Human Interests3. Freedom of Association and Liberty of Conscience4. Liberal Toleration5. Political Community6. The Cultural Construction of SocietyConclusion

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition ...as an illuminating challenge to contemporary liberalisms, this book succeeds admirably. 'Perspectives on Politics 22/09/2004