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Multiculturalism: The Political Theory of Diversity Today // Andrew Shorten

Multiculturalism: The Political Theory of Diversity Today // Andrew Shorten

Polity, 2022, 210 pages

#multiculturalism #diversity #politicaltheory

The idea that diverse cultural and ethnic groups should co-exist within a country and that assimilation should not be forced upon immigrant groups – “multiculturalism” – was orthodoxy 20 years ago. Today it’s coming under pressure.

In this introduction to the political theory of multiculturalism, Andrew Shorten surveys the leading theories of multiculturalism, the critiques that have been levelled against the idea, and the debates surrounding cohesion, integration and diversity. He then goes on to demonstrate how multicultural political theory can be renewed, arguing that a single, monolithic vision of multiculturalism must be replaced by a multiculturalism made up of different strands, responding to distinctive but interrelated issues, and inspired by real-world policy debates about how political communities should respond to differences of religion, language and nationality. After tracing the influence of earlier multicultural ideas on these debates, Shorten reveals some new and surprising possibilities for mutual learning.

Containing an up-to-date overview of multicultural political theory and its various offshoots, this book is essential reading for students and scholars interested in the politics of cultural, religious, linguistic and national diversity.

“If you look for a comprehensive and authoritative overview of multiculturalism theories, and for a critical and judicious commentary on their relative merits and shortcomings, you can do no better than read this book.”
Christian Joppke, University of Bern

“A thoughtful and balanced account of the nature, origins and development of multiculturalism as both a theory and a policy. Shows the internal diversity of multiculturalism and how it necessarily draws on other traditions of thought while continuing to be focussed on distinct concerns of its own. Of interest to scholars and lay readers alike, this fine book is a most welcome addition to the growing literature on the subject.”
Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords


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