Privilege or recognition? The myth of state neutrality

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (2):112-131 (1999)
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Abstract

Despite liberalism's considerable internal heterogeneity, liberal approaches to the management of ethno?cultural relations in diverse societies are unified in one respect: they revolve around the implicit assumption that there are three distinct approaches the state can take toward this issue, namely, domination by one cultural group, a politics of recognition, and state neutrality. This articles argues that in the context of an unequal distribution of societal power among ethno?cultural groups there are, in fact, only two basic state approaches to the management of diversity: privilege and recognition. The liberal idea of state neutrality, instead of representing a third alternative, falls squarely within the privilege approach. State neutrality is a cornerstone of currently predominant strands of liberalism. However, drawing on Walzer's distinction between the two types of liberalism, the article demonstrates that a politics of recognition is not necessarily irreconcilable with liberal tenets

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Citations of this work

Political liberalism and the false neutrality objection.Étienne Brown - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (7):1-20.

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