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Summary Minority rights refers to rights that are granted to particular groups within a society, in particular Indigenous groups, religious groups, and ethnic groups.  These can either be rights that are granted to the group as a unit (collective rights) or to individuals insofar as they are members of the group (group-differentiated rights).  Philosophical attention to the issue of minority rights gained momentum in the 1990s, as part of a broader critique of color-blind theories of justice.  Advocates of minority rights claim that justice requires differential treatment for disadvantaged groups, be it in the form of affirmative action, exemptions from legal requirements, public support for cultural practices, or some form of political autonomy.
Key works Theories of minority rights can be roughly divided into those that work within the liberal tradition, seeking to show that the liberal commitment to equality and liberty requires the recognition of minority rights, and those that frame their defense of minority rights as part of an objection to liberalism.  The central figure working with the liberal tradition is Will Kymlicka, in particular his Kymlicka 1995 and Kymlicka 1989.  Key non-liberal works include Young 1990, Parekh 2000 and Tully 1995.  For an overarching objection to minority rights, see Barry 2001.  There are also a number of excellent edited collections focused on minority rights.  See in particular Sistare et al 2001, Shapiro & Kymlicka 1997 and Eisenberg & Spinner-Halev 2005
Introductions Good encyclopedia entries include Song forthcoming and Jones 2008.  Will Kymlicka also has a useful chapter on Multiculturalism in his 2002
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  1. Mira Bachvarova (2013). Multicultural Accommodation and the Ideal of Non-Domination. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (6):1-22.
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  2. Brian Barry (2001). Culture and Equality: An Egalitarian Critique of Multiculturalism. Polity Press.
  3. Brian Barry (1996). Book Review:Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights. Will Kymlicka. [REVIEW] Ethics 107 (1):153-.
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  4. David C. Bricker (1998). Autonomy and Culture: Will Kymlicka on Cultural Minority Rights. Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):47-59.
  5. Joseph H. Carens (2005). The Integration of Immigrants. Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (1):29-46.
    This paper considers normative questions about the integration of legally resident immigrants into contemporary liberal democratic states. First, I ask to what extent immigrants should enjoy the same rights as citizens and on what terms they should have access to citizenship itself. I defend two general principles: (1) differential treatment requires justi.cation; (2) the longer immigrants have lived in the receiving society, the stronger their claim to equal rights and eventually to full citizenship. Second, I explore additional forms of economic, (...)
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  6. Emanuela Ceva & Federico Zuolo, A Matter of Respect. On the Relation Between the Majority and Minorities in a Democracy.
    The relations between the majority and minorities in a democracy have been standardly viewed as the main subject matter of toleration: the majority should refrain from using its dominant position to interfere with some minorities’ practices or beliefs despite its dislike or disapproval of such practices or beliefs. Can the idea of toleration provide us with the necessary resources to understand and respond to the problems arising out of majority/minorities relations in a democracy? We reply in the negative and make (...)
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  7. Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.) (2005). Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. cambridge university press.
  8. Anthony Ellis (2005). Minority Rights and the Preservation of Languages. Philosophy 80 (2):199-217.
    Do minority groups have a right to the preservation of their language? I argue that the rights of groups are always reducible to the rights of individuals. In that case, the question whether minorities have a right to the preservation of their language is a question of whether individuals have a right to it. I argue that, in the only relevant sense of ‘right’, they do not. They may have an interest in the preservation of their language, but, if so, (...)
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  9. A. Favell (1998). Applied Political Philosophy at the Rubicon: Will Kymlica's Multicultural Citizenship. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (2):255-278.
    Will Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship represents an extraordinary attempt to put applied political philosophy to work in the empirical context of contemporary political debates about immigration and ethnic minorities in western society. This paper explores the methodological and interpretative difficulties of combining normative and empirical goals, in a critical discussion of the examples Kymlicka makes of multicultural issues in France, Britain and the US. It goes on to argue that these weaknesses lie in the Rawlsian influence in Kymlicka's work, and that (...)
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  10. Fuat Gursozlu (2013). The Multicultural Mystique: The Liberal Case Against Diversity, by H. E. Baber. Teaching Philosophy 36 (3):300-303.
  11. Baogang He (2004). Confucianism Versus Liberalism Over Minority Rights: A Critical Response to Will Kymlicka. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (1):103–123.
  12. Baogang He (2003). Minority Rights : A Confucian Critique of Kymlicka's Theory of Nonassimilation. In Kim Chong Chong, Sor-Hoon Tan & C. L. Ten (eds.), The Moral Circle and the Self: Chinese and Western Approaches. Open Court.
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  13. Peter Jones, Group Rights. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  14. Suzy Killmister (forthcoming). Why Group Membership Matters; A Critical Typology. Ethnicities.
    The question of why group-differentiated rights might be a requirement of justice has been a central focus of identity politics in recent decades. I attempt to bring some clarity to this discussion by proposing a typology to track the various ways in which individuals can be harmed or benefited as a consequence of their membership in social groups. It is the well-being of individuals that group-differentiated rights should be understood as protecting, and so clarity on the relationship between group membership (...)
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  15. Suzy Killmister (2011). Group-Differentiated Rights and the Problem of Membership. Social Theory and Practice 37 (2):227-255.
    Justifications of group-differentiated rights commonly overlook a crucial practical consideration: if rights are to be allocated on the basis of group membership, how should we determine which individuals belong to which group? Assuming that social identities are fixed and transparent runs the risk of creating further injustices, whilst acknowledging that social groups are porous and heterogeneous runs the risk of rendering group-differentiated rights impracticable. In this paper, I develop a schema for determining group membership which avoids both horns of this (...)
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  16. Carl Knight (2004). Liberal Multiculturalism Reconsidered. POLITICS 24 (3):189-97.
    This article starts by setting out the evaluative criteria provided by Will Kymlicka's liberal account of individual freedom and equality. Kymlicka's theory of cultural minority rights is then analysed using these criteria and found to be defective in two respects. First, his assignment of different rights to national and ethnic groups is shown to be inegalitarian with regard to generations after the first. Second, his recommendation of strong cultural protections is shown in some circumstances to undermine freedom and equality. Towards (...)
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  17. William Korey (1994). Minority Rights After Helsinki. Ethics and International Affairs 8 (1):119–139.
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  18. Will Kymlicka (2009). Categorizing Groups, Categorizing States: Theorizing Minority Rights in a World of Deep Diversity. Ethics and International Affairs 23 (4):371-388.
    Since 1989 we have witnessed a proliferation of efforts to develop international norms of the rights of ethnocultural minorities, such as the UN's 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, the Council of Europe's 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the Organization of American States' 1997 draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This activity at the level of international law is reflected in a comparable explosion (...)
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  19. Will Kymlicka (2007). Minority Rights and the New International Politics of Diversity. Social Philosophy Today 23:13-55.
    This paper address the challenges that have emerged in the attempt to codify and enforce international standards of minority rights. Without offering any magic solutions for overcoming all of these difficulties, my aim is to more clearly identify the challenges they raise and the pitfalls ahead of us if we ignore them. These include conceptual confusions, moral dilemmas, unintended consequences, legal inconsistencies and political manipulation. The paper concludes with some ideas about how international minority rights might be institutionalized more successfully.
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  20. Will Kymlicka (1997). Do We Need a Liberal Theory of Minority Rights? Reply to Carens, Young, Parekh and Forst. Constellations 4 (1):72-87.
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  21. Will Kymlicka (1995). Multicultural Citizenship. oxford university press.
    For them, citizenship is by definition a matter of treating people as individuals with equal rights under the law. This is what distinguishes democratic citizenship from feudal and other pre-modern views that determined people's political status by ...
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  22. Will Kymlicka (1989). Liberalism, Community and Culture. Oxford University Press.
    in a very different sense, to refer to the cultural community, or cultural structure, itself On this view, the cultural community continues to exist even when its members arc free to modify the character of the culture, should they find its traditional ...
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  23. Will Kymlicka & Ruth Rubio Marin (1999). Liberalism and Minority Rights. An Interview. Ratio Juris 12 (2):133-152.
  24. Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (2011). Immigrants, Multiculturalism, and Expensive Cultural Tastes: Quong on Luck Egalitarianism and Cultural Minority Rights. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 6 (2):176-192.
    Kymlicka has offered an influential luck egalitarian justification for a catalogue of polyethnic rights addressing cultural disadvantages of immigrant minorities. In response, Quong argues that while the items on the list are justified, in the light of the fact that the relevant disadvantages of immigrants result from their choice to immigrate, (i) these rights cannot be derived from luck egalitarianism and (ii) that this casts doubt on luck egalitarianism as a theory of cultural justice. As an alternative to Kymlicka’s argument, (...)
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  25. Jean-Christophe Merle (1998). Cultural Minority Rights and the Rights of the Majority in the Liberal State. Ratio Juris 11 (3):259-271.
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  26. Seumas Miller (2000). Collective Rights and Minority Rights. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (2):241-257.
    The main purpose of this paper is to argue that there are no minority moral rights. Rights claimed to be minority moral rights, such as land rights and hunting rights of indigenous peoples, and the political and language rights of some minority cultures, turn out to be either collective moral rights which are not also minority moral rights, or else to be merely (possibly morally justified) legal minority rights which are not also minority moral rights.
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  27. Bhikhu C. Parekh (2000). Rethinking Multiculturalism. Harvard University Press.
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  28. Roland Pierik (2004). Ayelet Shachar: Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights. [REVIEW] Political Theory 32 (4):585-589.
  29. Ian Shapiro & Will Kymlicka (eds.) (1997). Ethnicity and Group Rights: Nomos Xxxix. new york university press.
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  30. Christine Sistare, Larry May & Leslie Francis (eds.) (2001). Groups and Group Rights. University Press of Kansas.
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  31. Manuel Toscano (2012). Language Rights as Collective Rights: Some Conceptual Considerations on Language Rights. Res Publica 27:109-118.
    Stephen May (2011) holds that language rights have been insufficiently recognized, or just rejected as problematic, in human rights theory and practice. Defending the “human rights approach to language rights”, he claims that language rights should be accorded the status of fundamental human rights, recognized as such by states and international organizations. This article argues that the notion of language rights is far from clear. According to May, one key reason for rejecting the claim that language rights should be considered (...)
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  32. Shelley Tremain (2008). The Biopolitics of Bioethics and Disability. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (2/3):101-106.
  33. Shelley Tremain (ed.) (2005). Foucault and the Government of Disability. University of Michigan Press.
    The provocative essays in this volume respond to Foucault's call to question what is regarded as natural, inevitable, ethical, and liberating, while they ...
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  34. James Tully (1995). Strange Multiplicity: Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity. Cambridge University Press.
    Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity James Tully. these ambassadors from Haida Gwaii conciliate the goods which appear irreconcilable to us? To discover the answer, and learn our way around on this strange common ground, we need to ...
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  35. P. A. van der Ploeg (1998). Minority Rights and Educational Authority. Journal of Philosophy of Education 32 (2):177–193.
  36. Jeremy Waldron (1995). Minority Rights and the Cosmopolitan Alternative. University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 25 (4).
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  37. Iris Marion Young (1990). Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton University Press.
    In this classic work of feminist political thought, Iris Marion Young challenges the prevailing reduction of social justice to distributive justice.
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