The Ties That Bind

Will Kymlicka

in Multicultural Citizenship

Published in print September 1996 | ISBN: 9780198290919
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599712 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Political Theory

 The Ties That Bind

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Addresses the concern that group‐differentiated rights for minority cultures will inhibit the development of a shared identity necessary for a stable social order. There is a common worry that group‐differentiated citizenship encourages groups to focus on their differences, rather than their shared purposes and interests. Citizenship is supposed to perform an integrative function, but can it do so if it implies no common legal or political identity? The chapter argues that representation and polyethnic rights are consistent with the integration of minority groups, and may indeed assist it. Self‐government rights, on the other hand do pose a serious threat to social unity, since they encourage the national minority to view itself as distinct. However, to deny self‐government can also threaten social unity by encouraging secession. This means that the identification of the bases of social unity in multinational states is one of the most pressing theoretical issues facing liberalism today.

Keywords: citizenship; minority rights; secession; self‐government; social unity

Chapter.  8482 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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