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Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism : Liberalism, Culture and Coercion

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael



In Just Reasonable, Multiculturalism, Cohen-Almagor develops a comprehensive theory that tackles three major attacks on multiculturalism: that it is bad for democracy, that it is bad for women, and that it promotes terrorism, aiming to show that liberalism and multiculturalism are reconcilable. Cohen-Almagor outlines the theoretical assumptions underlying a liberal response to threats posed by cultural or religious groups whose norms entail different measures of harm. He examines the importance of cultural, ethnic, national, religious, and ideological norms and beliefs, and what part they play in requiring us to tolerate others out of respect. Cohen-Almagor formulates guidelines designed to prescribe boundaries to cultural practices and to safeguard the rights of individuals and then applies them to real life situations. Painstakingly, Cohen-Almagor balances group rights against individual rights and delineates the limits of state intervention in minority groups’ affairs in cases involving physical harm and non-physical harm. The first category includes practices such as scarring, suttee, murder for family honour, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), female circumcision and male circumcision. The second category includes arranged and forced marriages, divorce and property rights, gender segregation, denial of education, and enforcement of a strict dress code. Two country case studies, France and Israel, illustrate the power of security considerations in restricting claims for multiculturalism


Cohen-Almagor, R. (2021). Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism : Liberalism, Culture and Coercion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (CUP).

Book Type Authored Book
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 29, 2021
Publication Date Jul 29, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 6, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2022
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Pages 399
ISBN 9781108469838 1108476147 9781108476140
Keywords liberalism, multiculturalism, culture, tolerance, harm, group rights
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This file is under embargo until Jan 30, 2022 due to copyright reasons.

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