About this topic
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 2001
Related categories

126 found
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  1. added 2019-05-24
    Multiculturalism, Autonomy, and Language Preservation.Ethan Nowak - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I show how a novel treatment of speech acts can be combined with a well-known liberal argument for multiculturalism in a way that will justify claims about the preservation, protection, or accommodation of minority languages. The key to the paper is the claim that every language makes a distinctive range of speech acts possible, acts that cannot be realized by means of any other language. As a result, when a language disappears, so does a class of speech (...)
  2. added 2019-05-16
    Equality, Citizenship and Segregation: A Defense of Separation.Michael S. Merry - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In this book I argue that most voluntary separation experiments in education are not driven by a sense of racial, cultural or religious superiority. Rather, they are driven among other things by a desire for quality education, not to mention community membership and self respect.
  3. added 2019-04-10
    Political Liberalism and the False Neutrality Objection.Étienne Brown - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-20.
    One central objection to philosophical defences of liberal neutrality is that many neutrally justified laws and policies are nonetheless discriminatory as they unilaterally impose costs or confer unearned privileges on the bearers of a particular conception of the good. Call this the false neutrality objection. While liberal neutralists seldom consider this objection to be a serious allegation, and often claim that it rests on a misunderstanding, I argue that it is a serious challenge for proponents of justificatory neutrality. Indeed, a (...)
  4. added 2018-11-27
    La nation pluraliste : Repenser la diversité religieuse au Québec.Jérôme Gosselin-Tapp & Michel Seymour - 2018 - Montréal, QC, Canada: Presses de l'Université de Montréal.
    Depuis 2006, le Québec débat âprement des règles gouvernant la laïcité de ses institutions et se trouve confronté à deux modèles apparemment irréconciliables : le républicanisme « jacobin » et le libéralisme individualiste, issus respectivement de la France et du Canada. En s’inspirant de la pensée du philosophe politique John Rawls, les auteurs proposent ici d’explorer une voie médiane mieux adap­tée à l’expérience québécoise. Dans ses travaux tardifs, Rawls met en avant une forme de libéralisme républicain affranchi de l’indi­vidualisme normatif (...)
  5. added 2018-06-04
    Review of Sabine Choquet, Identités nationales et multiculturalisme. Deux notions antagonistes? [REVIEW]Éliot Litalien - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Political Science 49:812-13.
  6. added 2018-04-26
    Pierre Manent et la gestion de la diversité religieuse.Jérôme Gosselin-Tapp - 2018 - Ithaque 22:111-134.
    Cet article se propose de situer le livre Situation de la France (2015) de Pierre Manent dans le débat contemporain sur la gestion de la diversité religieuse, et ce, à partir de deux principales thèses interprétatives. La première thèse est que le modèle de Manent s’appuie sur une forme de collectivisme méthodologique. La seconde thèse est que la place que Manent accorde au discours religieux dans la « conversation civique » est justifiée par une volonté de faire contrepoids à la (...)
  7. added 2017-11-28
    The Instrumental Value Arguments for National Self-Determination.Hsin-wen Lee - 2019 - Dialogue—Canadian Philosophical Review 58 (1):65-89.
    David Miller argues that national identity is indispensable for the successful functioning of a liberal democracy. National identity makes important contributions to liberal democratic institutions, including creating incentives for the fulfilment of civic duties, facilitating deliberative democracy, and consolidating representative democracy. Thus, a shared identity is indispensable for liberal democracy and grounds a good claim for self-determination. Because Miller’s arguments appeal to the instrumental values of a national culture, I call his argument ‘instrumental value’ arguments. In this paper, I examine (...)
  8. added 2017-02-15
    Fixing The Cracking In The Global Liberal Order: Thoughts On Making The Case For Progressive Immigration After Brexit And Trump.Lister Matthew - 2017 - The Critique (2017).
    In the face of the Brexit vote and the election of Trump, there is serious worry about whether the liberal, democratic, and cosmopolitan values thought to underlie progressive immigration policies are in fact widely shared. In this article, I examine these worries and provide suggestions about how those who do favor just progressive immigration policies might best respond to the problems we currently face.
  9. added 2017-02-09
    Nationalities and National Minorities.Peter Berger - 1946 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 21 (3):529-531.
  10. added 2017-02-06
    Women and Minorities in Philosophy.Sven Ove Hansson - 2010 - Theoria 76 (1):1-3.
  11. added 2017-02-02
    Minorities, Immigrants and Otherwise.Kevin R. Johnson - unknown
    Anupam Chander's article Minorities, Shareholders and Otherwise 113 YALE L.J. 119 (2003), brilliantly offers a "conservative" justification for a U.S. constitutional law truly dedicated to fairness and justice for all. It does so through counter-intuitively looking to the bottom-line oriented world of corporate law. As Chander explains, modern constitutional law, which in effect ignores the racially discriminatory outcomes of facially neutral laws, has much to learn from corporate law, which strives to ensure fair outcomes - as well as procedures -- (...)
  12. added 2017-01-21
    Minority Languages, a Cultural Legacy.M. Brenzinger - 1993 - Diogenes 41 (161):1-18.
  13. added 2017-01-20
    National Minorities in the Law of the EC/EU.Daniel Smihula - unknown
    Abstract. In the law of the EC/EU the protection of national minorities is still a marginal matter. The EU has relied on general international law and on a European regional system of international law and, in case of necessity, accepted their norms. But in the 1990s there began a process of "de-economisation of the European integration" and the importance of national minorities became higher. Protection of the national minorities has not become a generally accepted legally binding principle of the EU, (...)
  14. added 2017-01-18
    Survey Article: Multiculturalism as Fairness: Will Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship.Chandran Kukathas - 1997 - Journal of Political Philosophy 5 (4):406–427.
  15. added 2017-01-16
    The Catholic Family as a Minority Group.Conor Ward - 1962 - New Blackfriars 43 (510):527-532.
  16. added 2017-01-15
    Cultural Rights Again.Chandran Kukathas - 1992 - Political Theory 20 (4):674-680.
  17. added 2016-12-13
    Derechos Humanos y Minorías: Un Acercamiento Analítico Neoilustrado.Paolo Comanducci - 1995 - Isonomía. Revista de Teoría y Filosofía Del Derecho 3 (20-21).
    El ensayo recontruye los diferentes conceptos de derechos humanos y de minorías. Centrándose luego sobre las minorías culturales, analiza las difíciles relaciones entre derechos humanos liberales y derechos culturales positivos.
  18. added 2016-12-08
    “[Un]Dazzled by the Ideal?”: Tully’s Politics and Humanism in Tragic Perspective.Bonnie Honig - 2011 - Political Theory 39 (1):138-144.
  19. added 2016-12-08
    Liberalisme en cultuur: Will Kymlicka over multicultureel burgerschap.Dries Chaerle & André Van de Putte - 1997 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 59 (2):215-252.
    This study examines Will Kymlicka's liberal defense of minority rights. The startingpoint of his argument is provided by a particular conception of individual freedom, which stresses the need for a context of choice in which it can be exercised. This contextof choice is conceived of as a societal culture, i.e. as „an intergenerational community, more or less institutionally complete, occupying a given territory or homeland, sharing a distinct language and history”. As far as societal-cultural membership is constitutive for the freedom (...)
  20. added 2016-12-08
    The Rights of Minority Cultures.Will Kymlicka - 1992 - Political Theory 20 (1):140-146.
  21. added 2016-07-04
    Moral Grounds for Indigenous Hunting Rights.Makoto Usami - 2016 - Philosophy of Law in the Arctic.
    It is crucial for indigenous people living in the Arctic to harvest animals by hunting in a traditional manner, as is the case with such peoples in other parts of the world. Given the nutritional, economic, and cultural importance of hunting for aboriginal people, it seems reasonable to say that they have the moral right to hunt animals. On the other hand, non-aboriginal people are occasionally prohibited from hunting a particular species of animal in many societies. The question then arises: (...)
  22. added 2016-05-26
    Droits humains et minorités culturelles.Amandine Catala - 2015 - Philosophiques 42 (2):231-250.
    J’aborde tout d’abord l’objection relativiste aux droits humains, afin de pouvoir ensuite me concentrer sur d’autres questions soulevées par la question des droits humains et des minorités culturelles. Le but de ma discussion est d’identifier et d’interroger les tensions potentielles entre minorités culturelles et droits humains, afin de montrer en quoi les droits humains peuvent protéger les minorités culturelles et, ultimement, de problématiser la manière dont cette protection peut se déployer. Dans ce but, je commence par clarifier deux notions-clés de (...)
  23. added 2016-03-02
    How Groups Matter: Challenges of Toleration in Pluralistic Societies.Magali Bessone, Gideon Calder & Federico Zuolo - 2014 - Routledge.
    When groups feature in political philosophy, it is usually in one of three contexts: the redressing of past or current injustices suffered by ethnic or cultural minorities; the nature and scope of group rights; and questions around how institutions are supposed to treat a certain specific identity/cultural/ethnic group. What is missing from these debates is a comprehensive analysis of groups as both agents and objects of social policies. While this has been subject to much scrutiny by sociologists and social psychologists, (...)
  24. added 2015-07-08
    Change Your Look, Change Your Luck: Religious Self-Transformation and Brute Luck Egalitarianism.Muhammad Velji - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):453-471.
    My intention in this paper is to reframe the practice of veiling as an embodied practice of self-development and self- transformation. I argue that practices like these cannot be handled by the choice/chance distinction relied on by those who would restrict religious minority accommodations. Embodied self- transformation necessarily means a change in personal identity and this means the religious believer cannot know if they will need religious accommodation when they begin their journey of piety. Even some luck egalitarians would find (...)
  25. added 2015-04-04
    On Minorities: Cultural Rights.Homi Bhabha - 2000 - Radical Philosophy 100.
  26. added 2015-03-25
    The Minority of Henry III. [REVIEW]Scott Waugh - 1992 - Speculum 67 (3):644-647.
  27. added 2015-03-24
    Kymlicka, W.-Multicultural Citizenship.Da Lloyd Thomas - 1997 - Philosophical Books 38:139-139.
  28. added 2015-03-24
    Historical Survey of the Destabilization of Minority Languages in Malawi: The Case of Chiyao.P. J. Kishindo - 1994 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 14:96-115.
  29. added 2015-03-23
    Minorities and Language.D. Gorter - 2006 - In Keith Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 156--159.
  30. added 2015-03-23
    Minority Language Education.Ofelia García - 2005 - In Alex Barber (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 159--163.
  31. added 2015-03-23
    15 Associative Democracy and Minorities Within Minorities.Veit Bader - 2005 - In Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.), Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 319.
  32. added 2015-03-23
    10 Minors Within Minorities: A Problem for Liberal Multiculturalists.Rob Reich - 2005 - In Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.), Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 209.
  33. added 2015-03-23
    12 Identity and Liberal Politics: The Problem of Minorities Within Minorities.Avigail Eisenberg - 2005 - In Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.), Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 249.
  34. added 2015-03-22
    Will Kymlicka and Wayne Norman, Eds, Citizenship in Diverse Societies.R. Poole - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
  35. added 2015-02-26
    Minority Rights in the Middle East.Amyn B. Sajoo - 2014 - Ethics and Global Politics 7 (1).
  36. added 2015-02-26
    The Subject of Minority Rights New Categories and a Critique of Will Kymlicka’s Group-Differentiated Rights.Palma Dante - 2014 - Ideas Y Valores 63 (155):191-217.
    Will Kymlicka ha sido considerado como compatibilizador de liberales y comunitaristas en cuanto a los derechos de las minorías. Su distinción entre derechos de grupo como protecciones externas y como restricciones internas buscó dar cuenta de las reivindicaciones minoritarias sin vulnerar el principio liberal de autonomía. En este artículo se buscan dos objetivos: primero, adoptar una perspectiva crítica, al afirmar que tal distinción soslaya el eje central de la discusión, esto es, la problemática de la titularidad del derecho, y, segundo, (...)
  37. added 2015-02-26
    Minority Rights in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Conceptual Considerations.Fernando Arlettaz - 2013 - Jurisprudencija: Mokslo darbu žurnalas 20 (3):901-922.
    The article discusses the rights of minorities in the system of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It establishes a conceptual distinction between universal rights, specific rights of minorities in general and specific rights of particular minorities. Universal rights correspond to all individuals (e,g,, “no one shall be subjected to torture”) or all groups of a certain class (e.g., “all families are entitled to protection”). Minority groups and their members are entitled to these rights in the same way (...)
  38. added 2015-02-26
    Overcoming the Minority Rights Paradox : A New Approach to Intercultural Deliberation.Ruth E. Lowe - unknown
    The minority rights paradox is articulated at the level of political theory, is deployed by liberal democratic institutions, and can be observed in the political discourse of mass communications. Minority groups, it is argued, are paradoxically claiming purported rights that are unsupported by the values upon which the claimants base their claim. On the one hand, minority claims are made on the basis of rights secured by a liberal democracy; on the other hand, the claims undermine the legitimacy of liberal (...)
  39. added 2015-02-26
    Value Collectivism, Collective Rights, and Self-Threatening Theory.Dwight G. Newman - 2013 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 33 (1):197-210.
    This review article discusses the conception of collective rights necessary to ground contemporary entrenchments of minority educational rights, Indigenous rights and collective bargaining rights, as discussed in Miodrag Jovanović’s book, Collective Rights: A Legal Theory. Jovanović argues for a role for value collectivism in elucidating a rationale for the entrenchment of rights held by what he conceives of as pre-legally existing groups with interests not reducible to those of their individual members. This approach can offer an explanation for the entrenchment (...)
  40. added 2015-02-26
    Human Rights and Minority Rights in the European Union by Kirsten Shoraka: London and New York: Routledge, 2010 (Book Review).David J. Galbreath - 2013 - Human Rights Review 14 (2):159-160.
  41. added 2015-02-26
    Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. Edited by Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spiner-Halevy . Pp. Xii, 390, Cambridge University Press, 2005, $43.67. [REVIEW]Anthony Egan - 2012 - Heythrop Journal 53 (3):534-535.
  42. added 2015-02-26
    A Critical Response to Will Kymlicka´s View of Multiculturalism.A. Anwarullah Bhuiyan - 2011 - Human Affairs 21 (2):129-139.
    The objective of this article is to consider how multiculturalism, minority rights, and nationbuilding have been defended by Will Kymlicka. For this purpose, I will first attempt to spell out the answers to the following questions: is it possible to defend minority rights in a liberal state? What is the problem regarding this defence of national minorities? Does anybody benefit from minority rights within a nationbuilding process? In order to find out the answer to these questions, I will first introduce (...)
  43. added 2015-02-26
    Minority Rights in Political Philosophy and International Law.Will Kymlicka - 2010 - In Samantha Besson & John Tasioulas (eds.), The Philosophy of International Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 377--383.
  44. added 2015-02-26
    Why Linguistic Territorialism in the UK Does Not Justify Differential Minority Language Rights.Shaun Gates - 2010 - Ethics and Education 5 (1):3-13.
    Despite the declarations of international documents on minority language rights, provision is patchy for supporting minority languages in the UK, where since the 1980s governments have deliberately or unwittingly greatly raised the profile and comparative standing of English. The partial exception to this trend has been the treatment of indigenous/regional minority languages, stimulated by policies of devolution intended to revive or create a sense of national identity, and to redress perceived historic linguistic injustices. In a multicultural state or region these (...)
  45. added 2015-02-26
    Survey Article: The Justification of Minority Language Rights.Alan Patten - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (1):102-128.
  46. added 2015-02-26
    The Good, the Bad, and the Intolerable : Minority Group Rights.Will Kymlicka - 2009 - In Mark Goodale (ed.), Human Rights: An Anthropological Reader. Wiley-Blackwell.
  47. added 2015-02-26
    Authenticity and Cultural Rights.Burke Hendrix - 2008 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 5 (2):181-203.
    Should states extend customized political protections to 'minority nations' or 'minority cultures'? Part of the answer depends on whether the identities at stake are merely political artifacts created or exploited by 'ethnic entrepreneurs', or whether they are 'authentic' expression of an ongoing collective life. This essay argues that the real character of groups is persistently difficult to recognize, and that 'authenticity' is a problematic notion even in the abstract. Given these uncertainties, the essay argues that states should generally treat only (...)
  48. added 2015-02-26
    Group-Specific Rights.Plamen Makariev - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 11:69-76.
    This paper is dealing with a contradiction in the theory and policy of minority rights: on the one hand the claims for such rights are justified by recognizing the value of the cultural identity of minority groups, on the other – the recognition of such a value implies an acceptance of a conservative and isolationist view onminority identities. Characterizing the latter view as essentialist I explore several alternatives for approaching the issue of minority rights in a different way and finally (...)
  49. added 2015-02-26
    Kulturni pluralizam i pravednost u recepciji Willa Kymlicke.Marita Brčić - 2008 - Filozofska Istrazivanja 28 (1):49-61.
    Shvaćajući kulturni pluralizam kao činjenicu suvremenog liberalno demokratskog društva, uočava se njegova problematičnost u odnosu na same liberalno-demokratske ideje. Demokracija polazi od prava većine, a liberalizam polazi od pojedinca kojemu su osigurana temeljna prava i dužnosti zanemarujući činjenicu njegova mogućeg pripadanja manjinskoj kulturi. Može li se odgovor na zahtjev kulturne različitosti pronaći isključivo u teoriji ljudskih prava ili je potrebno dopustiti postavljanje posebnih prava za pripadnike različitih manjinskih kultura? Je li takva posebna prava dovode u pitanje ideal jednakosti koji se (...)
  50. added 2015-02-26
    Are Cultural Group Rights Against Individual Rights?Erol Kuyurtar - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:51-59.
    This paper focuses on the nature of cultural group rights in relation to individual rights. The recent liberal acceptance that minority cultures should have a collective power over their cultural matters has been challenged by other liberals on the grounds that cultural rights as group rights cannot be reconciled with the basic moral and political principles of liberalism which are derived from individual liberties and rights. Through tackling some liberal arguments against group rights, we reject the view that regards group (...)
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