Cultural Pluralism and Partial Citizenship

Jeff Spinner‐Halev

in Multicultural Questions

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296102
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599583 | DOI:
 Cultural Pluralism and Partial Citizenship

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In his response to our second lead question, Does Multiculturalism Threaten citizenship?, Jeff Spinner‐Halev distinguishes between various kinds of multiculturalism in practice. ‘Thick’ multiculturalism (also dubbed ‘cultural pluralism’), which seeks state funds for group separation, is a threat to citizenship. ‘Inclusive’ multiculturalism, according to Spinner‐Halev, the mainline brand, enhances citizenship – an example being the turban‐wearing Sikh in the Canadian Royal Mountain Police. Discussing the case of Hutterites, Spinner‐Halev introduces a third kind of multiculturalism for insular communities that stay away from the society's common life and invoke what he calls ‘partial citizenship’. This is a variant of ‘thick’ multiculturalism, without, however, asking for state funds. If the exit for apostates is guaranteed, partial citizenship poses no threat to citizenship, and is to be tolerated. Spinner‐Halev's approach is pragmatic, not principled: if the context allows (say in ethnically homogenous Sweden), even thick multiculturalism may be exceptionally tolerated.

Keywords: partial citizenship; citizenship; cultural pluralism; multiculturalism; religion; right to exit

Chapter.  11336 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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