Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Rights

Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Rights

by Alan Patten

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Overview

Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Rights by Alan Patten

Conflicting claims about culture are a familiar refrain of political life in the contemporary world. On one side, majorities seek to fashion the state in their own image, while on the other, cultural minorities press for greater recognition and accommodation. Theories of liberal democracy are at odds about the merits of these competing claims. Multicultural liberals hold that particular minority rights are a requirement of justice conceived of in a broadly liberal fashion. Critics, in turn, have questioned the motivations, coherence, and normative validity of such defenses of multiculturalism. In Equal Recognition, Alan Patten reasserts the case in favor of liberal multiculturalism by developing a new ethical defense of minority rights.

Patten seeks to restate the case for liberal multiculturalism in a form that is responsive to the major concerns of critics. He describes a new, nonessentialist account of culture, and he rehabilitates and reconceptualizes the idea of liberal neutrality and uses this idea to develop a distinctive normative argument for minority rights. The book elaborates and applies its core theoretical framework by exploring several important contexts in which minority rights have been considered, including debates about language rights, secession, and immigrant integration.

Demonstrating that traditional, nonmulticultural versions of liberalism are unsatisfactory, Equal Recognition will engage readers interested in connections among liberal democracy, nationalism, and current multicultural issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691173559
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alan Patten is professor of politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Hegel's Idea of Freedom and the editor of the journal Philosophy & Public Affairs.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1. Introduction: Liberalism and the Accommodation of Cultural Diversity 1

1.1. Competing Interpretations of Liberalism 1

1.2. Why the Case for Liberal Culturalism Needs to Be Restated 6

1.3. Four Distinctions, Plus One More 11

1.4. The Main Argument of the Book 27

1.5. Overview 34

2. Rethinking Culture: The Social Lineage Account 38

2.1. The Dilemma of Essentialism 38

2.2. The Critique of Essentialism 40

2.3. Cultural Continuity 45

2.4. The Social Lineage Account 50

2.5. Some Related Concepts 57

2.6. The Normative Significance of Culture: A First Glance 65

3. Why Does Culture Matter? 69

3.1. Options Disadvantage 69

3.2. Culture as Context of Choice 73

3.3. The Access Account 78

3.4. The Adequacy Account 92

3.5. Cultural Preservation versus Fair Treatment of Cultures 102

4. Liberal Neutrality: A Reinterpretation and Defense 104

4.1. An Unfashionable Idea 104

4.2. Neutrality as a Downstream Value 108

4.3. Conceptions of Neutrality 111

4.4. Institutions of Neutrality 119

4.5. The Fairness Justification of Neutrality 123

4.6. The Value of Self-Determination 131

4.7. Fairness and Neutral Treatment 137

5. Equal Recognition 149

5.1. Justice and Cultural Decline: Three Views 149

5.2. Recognition 156

5.3. Recognition and Justice 164

5.4. Equal Recognition versus Liberal Nationalism 171

5.5. The Objection from Expensive Tastes 177

5.6. Is Full Proceduralism Enough? 182

6. Equal Recognition and Language Rights 186

6.1. Linguistic Diversity and Language Rights 186

6.2. Three Kinds of Language Rights 188

6.3. Two Models: Nation Building and Language Preservation 192

6.4. The Equal Recognition Model 196

6.5. The Case for Equal Recognition 201

6.6. The Nation-Building Challenge 205

6.7. The Language Preservation Challenge—Weak Versions 210

6.8. The Language Preservation Challenge—Stronger Versions 216

6.9. Equal Recognition versus the Territoriality Principle 227

7. Democratic Secession from a Multinational State 232

7.1. Theories of Secession 232

7.2. The Failure-of-Recognition Condition 237

7.3. The Equal Recognition of National Identity 242

7.4. The Democracy Argument 256

7.5. The Confederal Alternative 261

7.6. Practical Implications 264

8. Immigrants, National Minorities, and Minority Rights 269

8.1. The Immigrant/National Minority Dichotomy 269

8.2. How Voluntary Is the Decision to Emigrate? 275

8.3. Are Cultural Rights Alienable? 281

8.4. Is the Receiving Society Acting Permissibly? 285

8.5. The Limits of Voluntary Acceptance 294

References 299

Index 311

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