By Will Kymlicka
Citizenship and variety were significant themes of dialogue during the last decade. yet those issues were principally mentioned in mutual isolation. This publication examines the explicit issues of clash and convergence among issues for citizenship and variety in democratic societies and reasseses and refines present theories of "diverse citizenship" in gentle of exact practices and regulations of pluralistic democracies.
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Extra info for Citizenship in Diverse Societies
Some of the essays in this volume suggest that this may indeed be the case. In some cases, this threat arises for reasons internal to a particular policy of minority rights. Shachar explains, for example, how allowing religious communities to control some aspects of family law—such as rules for marriage and divorce—can have devastating implications for the rights of women in ways that are clearly incompatible with the norms of equal citizenship in a liberal democracy. Similar arguments, as Coulombe notes, were made against Quebec's language law, which at one stage banned the use of English on shopkeepers' windows.
If forced to choose, some religious people "would flee their country rather than give up practising their faith. And even many scholars we know "would much rather take a job in a distant country, and live their whole lives there, than give up their profession for -want of opportunities at home. Moreover, it is hard to think that there is anything politically sinful about people deciding to have these sorts of priorities with respect to their different identities, or that a modern state should be permitted to act in a heavy-handed way to make its citizens all fervently patriotic.
They argue that minority rights are needed to prevent the ongoing stigmatization of ethnocultural minorities, and to remedy the disadvantages they suffer in the larger society. Substantial evidence for this claim can be found in several of the chapters in this volume. For example, the strengthening of officiallanguage rights for French Canadians, along with a substantial degree of autonomy for the French-speaking province of Quebec, have surely played an important role in the transition for French Canadians from being an economically disadvantaged and politically under-represented group in the 1950s, to being roughly in a position of social, economic, and political equality with English-speaking Canadians today.