Critical Republicanism, Secularism, and Impartiality

Cécile Laborde

in Critical Republicanism

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550210
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720857 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Political Theory

Critical Republicanism, Secularism, and Impartiality

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Chapter 4 takes both official republicans and their critics to task for their inadequate account of the relationship between ideal norms and social facts and for their inability to deploy normative criteria of assessment of the status quo. It puts forward a theory of ‘critical secularism’, which assesses what treating Muslims fairly means in non-neutral societies, in a way that promotes the republican ideal of the impartial and civic public sphere. It argues that the state should, in general, not support or recognize religions, unless not doing so infringes a basic religious right or gravely undermines contextual parity (the actual parity of status between majority and minority religions).

Keywords: status quo neutrality; facts and norms; secularism; contextual parity; religious minorities; Muslims

Chapter.  7939 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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