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Multiculturalism and the Welfare State

Recognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies

edited by Keith Banting & Will Kymlicka

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social services & welfare
list price: $78.95
edition:Paperback
published: 2006
ISBN:9780199289189
Description

In many Western democracies, ethnic and racial minorities have demanded, and sometimes achieved, greater recognition and accommodation of their identities. This is reflected in the adoption of multiculturalism policies for immigrant groups, the acceptance of territorial autonomy and language rights for national minorities, and the recognition of land claims and self-government rights for indigenous peoples. These claims for recognition have been controversial, in part because of fears that they make it more difficult to sustain a robust welfare state by eroding the interpersonal trust, social solidarity and political coalitions that sustain redistribution. Are these fears of a conflict between a "politics of recognition" and a "politics of redistribution" valid?

This volume is the first systematic attempt to empirically test this question, using both cross-national statistical analyses of the relationships among diversity policies, public attitudes and the welfare state, and case studies of the recognition/ redistribution linkage in the political coalitions in particular countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, and in Latin America. These studies suggest that that there is no general or inherent tendency for recognition to undermine redistribution, and that the relationship between these two forms of politics can be supportive as well as competitive, depending on the context. These findings shed important light, not only on the nature and effects of multiculturalism, but also on wider debates about the social and political foundations of the welfare state, and indeed about our most basic concepts of citizenship and national identity.

As a ground-breaking attempt to connect the literatures on multiculturalism and the welfare state, this volume will be of great interest to a wide range of scholars and practitioners who work on issues of ethnocultural diversity and social policy.

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Contributor notes

Will Kymlicka is the author of five books published by Oxford University Press: Liberalism, Community, and Culture (1989), Contemporary Political Philosophy (1990; second edition 2002), Multicultural Citizenship (1995), which was awarded the Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association, and the Bunche Award by the American Political Science Association, Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (1998); and Politics in the Vernacular (2001). He is also the editor of Justice in Political Philosophy (Elgar, 1992), The Rights of Minority Cultures (OUP, 1995), and co-editor of Ethnicity and Group Rights (NYU Press, 1997), Citizenship in Diverse Societies (OUP, 2000), Can Liberal Pluralism Be Exported — (OUP, 2001), and Language Rights and Political Theory (OUP, 2003). He is currently a Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University. Keith Banting is Queen's Research Professor in Public Policy in the School of Policy Studies and the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University. His research interests focus on the politics of public policy, especially social policy He is the author of Poverty, Politics and Policy: Britain in the 1960s (Macmillan), and The Welfare State and Canadian Federalism (McGill-Queen's University Press). He is also the editor or co-editor of another fourteen books dealing with politics, political institutions and social policy. Among these edited books are The Politics of Constitutional Change in Industrial Nations (Macmillan); The State and Economic Interests (University of Toronto Press); Degrees of Freedom: Canada and the United States in a Changing World (McGill-Queen's University Press), and Health Policy and Federalism: A Comparative Perspective on Multi-Level Governance (McGill-Queen's University Press).

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