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The Future of Liberal Multiculturalism



This article considers the role and relevance of liberal multiculturalism in contemporary political theory. Liberal multiculturalism is a form of multiculturalism that emphasizes group-specific rights for minority groups within a liberal framework. Minority protections are adopted to secure basic liberal rights. The article first reviews Will Kymlicka's formulation of liberal multiculturalism; Kymlicka's work receives focus here as he provides the standard liberal multiculturalist position. The article then moves to exploring responses to the position. First I explore liberal responses and second I look at a recognition-based approach. In the final section the article provides a brief response to both of these critiques. I find that the liberal criticisms are overstated and that recognition-based approaches can help identify a possible way for liberal multiculturalism to respond better to the claims of minorities.