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To what extent does multiculturalism in developed liberal democracies adequately address the issue of religious diversity?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Liberal democracies are more and more diverse in their social structure.
    1. The willingness to be nation-states.
    2. Multiculturalism.
    3. Issues that provoked intense debates.
  3. Multiculturalism an adequate address to the issue of religious diversity.
    1. Origin, definition and goals of multiculturalism.
    2. Distinct from the assimilationist model.
    3. Distinct from the differentialist model.
    4. Critics to multiculturalism.
  4. The importance of some multicultural measures.
    1. An intercultural citizen.
    2. Necessity of local active policies to deal with diversity.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

In recent years diversity in developed liberal democracies has deeply increased. Indeed, in European countries, as in America or in Australia many migrants came to work. Whereas the first migration movements happened within Western countries (e.g. many Italians and Poles came to France to work in the mines), new migrants arriving from the 1950s were mainly from other continents, generally coming from former colonies of Western countries. Contrary to the first wave of migrants, those one are marked by very different cultures, way of life and religion. For example, Great Britain welcomed Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs coming from its former colonies, India and Pakistan. As a result, developed liberal democracies had to find political responses to address this diversity and in particular the religious diversity. Each country adopted its own model and strategy. In this context, the discourse of multiculturalism has focused the intention of many politicians. As Radtke notices, multiculturalism is a ?diffused concept? that has traveled the world over from its North American origins in Canada and the United States in the early 1970s, to Western and eventually Eastern Europe, and to Australia and India (Radtke, 2001).

[...] However, this model put serious limits to the plain expression of religious diversity, since this can only be expressed in the private sphere. As a result a purely assimilationist state should not be recommended to deal with religious diversity. Multiculturalism is distinct from the assimilationist model because it decouples the concepts of nation and state, and openly admits that the state in question is not ethnically homogeneous. Contrary to the assimilationist model, multiculturalism accepts that each individual is able to access state institutions without having to hide or deny his religious identity. [...]


[...] As a result, developed states have to respond to many challenges coming from the diversity (climate of suspicion, intolerance, social cohesion To what extent multiculturalism has been a good way to address religious diversity until the recent years? Multiculturalism an adequate address to the issue of religious diversity A. Origin, definition and goals of multiculturalism Multiculturalism, both as an ideology and as a political and educational program has arisen in North America in the 1980s. It took different forms in the US and in Canada. [...]


[...] T.S., ?European Liberal Democracy and the Principle of State Religious Neutrality' in West European Politics, Vol Issues Jan pp. 1-22. Rex J. and Singh G., ?Multiculturalism and Political Integration in Modern Nation-States', in International Journal on Multicultural Societies,Vol No pp.3-19. Singh G., ?Multiculturalism in Contemporary Britain: Reflections on the ?Leicester Model?', in International Journal on Multicultural Societies,Vol No pp. 40-54. Smooha S., Conference Paper Van den Bergh P. L., ?Multicultural democracy: can it work?', in Nations and Nationalism, Vol No pp. [...]

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