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Document Details :
Title: Liberalism and Multiculturalism
Subtitle: with Critical Remarks
Author(s): BARRY, Brian
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Date: April 1997
After 1945, liberalism in a broad sense that I shall define in a moment, became an almost unquestioned basis of thinking about politics in English-speaking political philosophy. Over the past twenty years or so, however, this libealism has been subjected to a number of challenges. Many of these can be brought under the umbrella of 'multiculturalism'. The kind of claim typically made in the name of 'multiculturalism' - or, as it is sometimes called, the 'politics of difference'- is that the self-image of liberalism as a tolerant and open creed is inaccurate. In fact, it is said, liberalism imposes a false universality that discriminates against minorities of all kinds. The most systematic statement of this set of ideas that I know of is to be found in a book by the American polical theorist Iris Marion Young, entitled Justice and the Politics of Difference. I shall take this as my text, when I need to refer to one. But I should add that tehre are many sources for the same ideas, especially in the United States.