Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women's Rights / Edition 1

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Is it possible for the state simultaneously to respect deep cultural differences and to protect the hard-won citizenship rights of vulnerable group members, in particular women? This book argues that this is not only theoretically needed, but also institutionally feasible. Shachar's fresh approach proceeds from an acknowledgment of the potentially negative effects of well-intentioned multicultural accommodation, which often forces the most vulnerable constituents of cultural groups into an impossible choice: either an allegiance to their culture, or an exercise of their rights. Rejecting prevalent normative and legal solutions to this "paradox of multicultural vulnerability," Multicultural Jurisdictions develops a powerful argument for enhancing the jurisdictional autonomy of religious and cultural minorities while at the same time providing viable legal-institutional solutions to the problem of sanctioned intra-group rights violation. This new "joint governance" approach is guided by an ambitiously innovative principle: one that strives for the reduction of injustice between minority groups and the wider society, together with the enhancement of justice within them. Shachar applies this new approach to contested social arenas, such as family law, immigration policy, and criminal justice. She shows how individuals who view themselves as simultaneously belonging to more than one membership community and subject to more than one legal authority can be empowered by their multiple affiliations. Unique in its interdisciplinary and comparative approach, this book makes a timely intervention in current multiculturalist and feminist debates by offering an in-depth exploration of practical legal-institutional solutions to vital normative dilemmas that beset diverse societies around the globe. It will interest students of political and social theory, law, religion, institutional design, as well as cultural and gender studies.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent example of the kind of new comparative law theory and application appearing in many recent texts...where the definition of legal culture is expanded, and the exciting and creative prospects for cross-fertilization are apparent. This book should be regarded as a necessary addition to these new voices." International Journal of Legal Information

"Shachar's book addresses an important problem and is full of rich insights." American Political Science Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521776745
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/6/2001
  • Series: Contemporary Political Theory Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Ayelet Shachar is Assistant Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. She is also currently a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. She has written extensively on issues of contemporary political theory, group rights and gender equality. Her most recent publications appear in the Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Theory and the Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review. She has also contributed to several edited volumes including Multicultural Questions (1999); Citizenship in Diverse Societies (2000); and From Migrants to Citizens (2000).
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The perils of multicultural accommodation 17
3 Family law and the construction of collective identity 45
4 State vs. nomos: lessons from contemporary law and normative theory 63
5 Sharing the pieces of jurisdictional authority: mapping the possibilities 88
6 Transformative accommodation: utilizing external protections to reduce internal restrictions 117
7 Conclusion 146
App How transformative accommodation works in different social arenas 151
References 166
Index 187
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