The Multiculturalism of Fear

Hardcover | September 1, 2000

byJacob T. Levy

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The Multiculturalism of Fear argues for a liberal account of multiculturalism which draws on a liberalism of fear like that articulated by Judith Shklar and inspired by Montesquieu. Liberalism should not be centrally concerned either with preserving or with transcending cultural communities,practices, and identities. Rather, it should focus on mitigating evils such as inter-ethnic civil wars, cruel practices internal to cultural communities, and state violence against ethnic minorities. This 'multiculturalism of fear' must be grounded in the realities of ethnic politics and ethnicconflict. It must therefore take seriously the importance which persons feel their ethnic identities and cultural practices to have, without falling into a celebration of cultural belonging. Levy argues against nationalist and multicultural theories that accord significant moral weight to cultural communities as such. Yet he also insists that the challenges of life in a multicultural world cannot be met without a recognition of the importance that particularist identities andpractices have to individual persons and to social life. The book applies the multiculturalism of fear to a variety of policy problems confronting multiethnic states. These include the regulation of sexist practices internal to cultural communities; secession and national self-determination; land rights; customary law; and the symbols and words used bythe state, including official apologies. It draws on cases from such diverse states as Australia, Canada, Israel, India, South Africa, and the United States.

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The Multiculturalism of Fear argues for a liberal account of multiculturalism which draws on a liberalism of fear like that articulated by Judith Shklar and inspired by Montesquieu. Liberalism should not be centrally concerned either with preserving or with transcending cultural communities,practices, and identities. Rather, it should...

Jacob T. Levy, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Chicago

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Format:HardcoverPublished:September 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198297122

ISBN - 13:9780198297123

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Political Theory, Multiculturalism, and NationalismChapter One: The Multiculturalism of FearChapter Two: Cruelty and Conflict in Multiethnic PoliticsChapter Three: The Impossibility of Universal NationalismChapter Four: Pluralism, Diversity, and Preserving Cultural CommunitiesChapter Five: Classifying Cultural RightsChapter Six: Incorporating Indigenous LawChapter Seven: Blood and Soil, Place or Property: Liberalism, Land, and EthnicityChapter Eight: Ethnic Symbolism and Official Apologies

Editorial Reviews

`The Multiculturalism of Fear is undoubtedly another book about multiculturalism, but rather than rehearsing old arguments in a familiar way, it contains a number of important messages and leads the reader to think about the topic in new ways.'Stefan Wolff, University of Bath