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Liberalism and the Politics of (Multi)Culture: or, Plurality is not Difference

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  • Political Theories
  • Politics Not Elsewhere Classified


Liberalism and culture are not normally words which one juxtaposes, for it is thought to be a hallmark of liberalism precisely that it is impervious to culture, just as it is blind to colour, sex and creed. Yet while it may be liberal to ‘bracket’ culture, to treat it as morally irrelevant, liberalism is itself a product of a time, place and culture. It was born in and of the West. For most of its history, the paradox that this gives rise to—namely that liberalism proclaims the values which define it to be of universal provenance, despite their parochial origins— has not constituted a problem for liberalism.

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