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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines important connections and differences between multiculturalism and the claims of indigenous peoples, particularly relating to contemporary liberal democracies. It first considers what is meant by multiculturalism and the debates about it that involve issues of culture, freedom, equality, democracy, and justice, then looks at three broad approaches to or “logics” of multiculturalism: protective or communitarian multiculturalism; liberal multiculturalism; and the view that multiculturalism is neither protective nor liberal, but essentially a new version of the hierarchical and racialized modes of political order it was supposed to displace. The chapter also discusses what the proper subject of multiculturalism should be—individuals, groups, cultures, or peoples; arguments for and against liberal multiculturalism; and the problem of legitimacy with respect to indigenous peoples’ claims about multiculturalism. It concludes by suggesting that normative pluralism is the starting point—rather than the terminus—of new forms of democratic community.

Keywords: multiculturalism, indigenous peoples, culture, freedom, equality, democracy, justice, protective multiculturalism, liberal multiculturalism, normative pluralism

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