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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The concept of citizenship denotes a legal status, an identity, and a range of distinctive activities and practices. These dimensions of citizenship are unified by the fact that they are all underpinned by a unifying and universalist logic. Modern societies are culturally diverse. Many of them are constitutively diverse, in that cultural diversity was present at their founding. Others are contingently diverse, in that they have been subject to processes such as immigration that has diversified them after founding. Many arguments have been developed to show that there are strong grounds, compatible with a broadly liberal political ethics, to resist arguments for shared citizenship in the context of constitutively culturally diverse societies. But contingently culturally diverse societies, to the degree that they recognize and enforce individual rights, are also ill-equipped to enforce a thick shared citizenship identity. Perfectionist arguments for citizenship fall foul of liberal principles. Rather than a shared identity or shared obligations imposed by the state, multicultural societies can see the emergence of shared identities and ethos emerging “from below”.

Keywords: Citizenship, Culture, Pluralism, Liberalism, Identity, Rights, Perfectionism

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