Critical Republicanism: The Hijab Controversy and Political Philosophy

Oxford University Press (2008)
Abstract
The first comprehensive analysis of the philosophical issues raised by the hijab controversy in France, this book also conducts a dialogue between contemporary Anglo-American and French political theory and defends a progressive republican solution to so-called multicultural conflicts in contemporary societies. It critically assesses the official republican philosophy of laïcité which purported to justify the 2004 ban on religious signs in schools. Laïcité is shown to encompass a comprehensive theory of republican citizenship, centered on three ideals: equality (secular neutrality of the public sphere), liberty (individual autonomy and emancipation) and fraternity (civic loyalty to the community of citizens). Challenging official interpretations of laïcité, the book then puts forward a critical republicanism which does not support the hijab ban, yet upholds a revised interpretation of three central republican commitments: secularism, non-domination and civic solidarity. Thus, it articulates a version of secularism which squarely addresses the problem of status quo bias - the fact that Western societies are historically not neutral towards all religions. It also defends a vision of female emancipation which rejects the coercive paternalism inherent in the regulation of religious dress, yet does not leave individuals unaided in the face of religious and secular, patriarchal and ethnocentric domination. Finally, the book outlines a theory of immigrant integration which places the burden of civic integration on basic socio-political institutions, rather than on citizens themselves. Critical republicanism proposes an entirely new approach to the management of religious and cultural pluralism, centred on the pursuit of the progressive ideal of non-domination in existing, non-ideal societies.
Keywords Hijab (Islamic clothing  Muslim women Clothing  Political science Philosophy  Multiculturalism Philosophy  Culture conflict  Conflict management
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Call number BP190.5.H44.L33 2008
ISBN(s) 9780199550210   0199550212
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The Republican Critique of Capitalism.Stuart White - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (5):561-579.
Three Theses About Political Theology: Some Comments on Seyla Benhabib’s ‘Return of Political Theology’.Cécile Laborde - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (6):689-696.
Why Tolerate Conscience?François Boucher & Cécile Laborde - forthcoming - Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-21.

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