Le multiculturalisme a-t-il un avenir ? (Colloque, fev. 2010, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)

The Essentialist Critique of Multiculturalism

vendredi 19 février 2010, par Will Kymlicka

Thèmes : multiculturalisme

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Since the late 1960s, in response to increasing restiveness and mobilization on the part of minority groups, a number of Western democracies have engaged in new experiments in the recognition and accommodation of ethnic diversity. These experiments include :

- recognizing land rights and self-government rights for indigenous peoples ;
- strengthening regional autonomy and official language status for substate national groups ;
- adopting more accommodationist policies for immigrant groups. I will describe all of these as experiments in ‘liberal multiculturalism’.

While these experiments started to emerge 40 years ago, it took a while for political theorists to turn their attention to these developments. It was only in the early 1990s, twenty years later, that we started to get the first scholarly discussions by academic political philosophers aiming to articulate normative theories of multiculturalism, and to explore how these emerging practices relate to liberal-democratic values and principles. So political theory has been playing catch-up to a pre-existing set of political practices. As a result, much of the theoretical debate has been informed by interpretations of the real-world cases. This is true of both defenders and critics. Defenders typically suggest that their theories of liberal multiculturalism articulate the normative logic underlying successful best practices of accommodation and recognition, while critics typically insist that the theoretical deficiencies in normative theories of multiculturalism are exemplified in various pathologies in real-world practices.

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par Will Kymlicka

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