The secular model of the multi‐cultural state

Inquiry 38 (1-2):109-117 (1995)
On what model should a modern multi?cultural democracy work? Spinosa et al. have argued that the political order should be sustained by a set of common values instilled in the citizens, without, however, any common rank order among these values. I argue that the multi?cultural state should rather conform to what I call the Secular Model, according to which the citizens need not share any basic values at all. On the Secular Model, people individually stick to the existing constitution (only) as long as they each feel that they have good reasons to do so. To be sure, each citizen of a multi?cultural state does need a feeling of community identity, a ?we? ideology, but it is desirable that each individual can have more than one such identity. It is also important that each individual can shift as he or she pleases, from one such identity to another. So this kind of identity should not be moulded by the state, but by various different free associations, independent of the state
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