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Integration in a pluralistic society : strategies for the future

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Bauböck, Rainer

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract "This essay deals with two questions: Is an internal pluralism of cultures compatible with the basic norms of a political order supported by principles of liberalism and democracy? Can societies remain integrated at the level of territorial political communities when they become increasingly mobile and open for international migration? Both questions are answered affirmatively, but with certain reservations against evolutionary optimism and cosmopolitan liberalism. Modernity has unleashed a dynamic of cultural homogenisation within nation-states, and at the global level, too. This has not eliminated cultural boundaries but rather turned them into political ones, charged with potentials for violent conflict. Liberal norms of tolerance are not strong enough to undermine the logics of nationalism and modern racism. New inclusive forms of democratic citizenship ought to represent rather than restrain internal cultural plurality, and at the same time provide incentives for boundary transgressions and against communal closure. With regard to the second question, there is a contradiction between the acceleration of international migrations on the one hand, and the need for stable and bounded membership in democratic polities on the other. This conflict can be resolved by developing transnational forms of citizenship which are based on territorial residence but allow for external, changing, and multiple forms of political membership. However, even if narrow conceptions of national sovereignty can be overcome, the national institutionalisation of social rights and the global gaps of unequal social citizenship still remain as the main obstacle for a universal right of free movement." [author's abstract]
Keywords society; pluralism; multicultural society; liberalism; democracy; cultural integration; migration; freedom of movement; political strategy
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science
Document language English
Publication Year 1993
City Wien
Page/Pages 20 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 8
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications