Disagreement and the Horizons of Consensus

Alexej Ulbricht

in Multicultural Immunisation

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780748695393
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781474408707 | DOI:
Disagreement and the Horizons of Consensus

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This chapter focuses on how dialogue and consensus function in liberal theories of multiculturalism, using Parekh’s work as an example. It engages with Jacques Rancière's work in order to critique this conception of consensus and argues that it serves to deny the formation of political subjecthood. The latter part of the chapter looks at the claim that liberal theories of multiculturalism lead to a fusion of horizons. It argues that rather than providing a real engagement and fusion in the ideal of Gadamer, liberal multiculturalism merely produces a kind of hyper-consensus. Dialogue and consensus immunises liberalism through incorporating the other, but this incorporation does not actually lead to a substantial change of liberalism. Further change is blocked with reference to the existence of the consensus – disagreements are rendered invisible

Keywords: Consensus; Dialogue; Bhikhu Parekh; Jacques Ranciere; Hans-Georg Gadamer; Fusion of Horizons; Multiculturalism; Immunity

Chapter.  9363 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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