Dealing with Urban Diversity: Promises and Challenges of City Life for Intercultural Citizenship

Political Theory 38 (5):631-657 (2010)
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Intercultural citizenship seems to benefit from certain generic aspects of city life that carry a negative quality, such as “blasé attitude” or the typical “indifference” of city dwellers. The main part of this essay argues that this observation allows the formulation of a moral minimum—a threshold conception—of intercultural citizenship in the urban setting, namely, what I call side-by-side citizenship. A certain level of indifference makes possible personal freedom and a tolerant multicultural city, although there are more ideal formulations of intercultural citizenship, such as in terms of agonism or cosmopolitanism. However, these more ambitious forms easily become too demanding given the muddle of everyday urban living conditions, which tend to promote mutual reserve and impersonal social relations. A modest and realistic conception of intercultural citizenship could prove crucial in motivating citizens to act according to some minimal standards.



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Bart Richard Van Leeuwen
Radboud University

References found in this work

The Ethics of Identity.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
23 The Politics of Recognition.Charles Taylor - 1994 - Contemporary Political Theory: A Reader.
A formal recognition of social attachments: Expanding Axel Honneth's theory of recognition.Bart van Leeuwen - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):180 – 205.
Constructing Inequality.Susan Bickford - 2000 - Political Theory 28 (3):355-376.

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