Res Publica 26 (2):201-214 (2020)

Bouke de Vries
Umeå University
Many political theorists are multiculturalists. They believe that states ought to support and accommodate minority cultures, even if they disagree about when such support and accommodations are due and what forms they should take. In this contribution, I argue that multiculturalists have failed to notice an important objection against a wide range of multiculturalism policies. This objection is predicated on the notion that when states support and accommodate minority cultures, they should support and accommodate many subcultures and individualistic conceptions of the good as well. However, since a significant proportion of multiculturalism policies imposes financial costs on society, it will often be prohibitively expensive for states to support and accommodate citizens’ subcultures and individualistic conceptions of the good on an equal basis. The result is that implementing such policies is likely to end up discriminating against certain groups, which might include e.g. fervent football fans, globe-trotters, mountain climbers, motor bikers, Hippies, and artists. I conclude by considering six reasons for giving preferential treatment to minority cultures that would allow multiculturalists to avoid this implication, which invoke, inter alia, the depth, duration, and involuntariness of cultural commitments; the role of culture in allowing people to live autonomously; and cultural rights to political self-determination. None are found to be convincing.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-019-09433-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,949
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Superseding Historic Injustice.Jeremy Waldron - 1992 - Ethics 103 (1):4-28.
Immigration and the Significance of Culture.Samuel Scheffler - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (2):93–125.
Superseding Historic Injustice.Jeremy Waldron - 1992 - Ethics 103 (1):4-28.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Against Hands-on Neutrality.Bouke De Vries - 2020 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (4):424-446.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Polyglot Multiculturalism and Social Progress.Steven Weimer - 2007 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2):275-288.
Liberal Multiculturalism.Robert E. Goodin - 2006 - Political Theory 34 (3):289-303.
Communitarianism, Multiculturalism and Liberalism.Slobodan Divjak - 2018 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):147-163.


Added to PP index

Total views
47 ( #221,907 of 2,439,332 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,957 of 2,439,332 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes