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Political Theory and Australian Multiculturalism

Political Theory and Australian Multiculturalism

Edited by Geoffrey Brahm Levey
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Political Theory and Australian Multiculturalism
    Book Description:

    Multiculturalism has been one of the dominant concerns in political theory over the last decade. To date, this inquiry has been mostly informed by, or applied to, the Canadian, American, and increasingly, the European contexts. This volume explores for the first time how the Australian experience both relates and contributes to political thought on multiculturalism. Focusing on whether a multicultural regime undermines political integration, social solidarity, and national identity, the authors draw on the Australian case to critically examine the challenges, possibilities, and limits of multiculturalism as a governing idea in liberal democracies. These essays by distinguished Australian scholars variously treat the relation between liberalism and diversity, democracy and diversity, culture and rights, and evaluate whether Australia's thirty-year experiment in liberal multiculturalism should be viewed as a successful model.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-029-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Chapter 1 Multicultural Political Thought in Australian Perspective
    (pp. 1-26)
    Geoffrey Brahm Levey

    The aim of this book is to explore how the Australian experience relates and contributes to political thinking about multiculturalism. Multiculturalism has been one of the dominant themes of research and reflection in political theory over the last fifteen or so years. Among other issues, attention has focused on how multiculturalism relates to liberal principles of individual autonomy, toleration, equality, and justice; where, and on what basis, the limits of liberal toleration should be drawn; and the implications of multiculturalism for current and emerging conceptions of citizenship. For the most part, these debates have been conducted at an abstract philosophical...

  6. Part I Liberalism and Diversity

    • Chapter 2 Anarcho-Multiculturalism: The Pure Theory of Liberalism
      (pp. 29-43)
      Chandran Kukathas

      Most modern states today are, at least to some degree, culturally diverse. Trade, tourism, international dialogue among scholars, scientists, and artists, and the movement of skilled labor—as well as migration—have ensured that few countries do not contain within them significant numbers of people from alien cultures. The one cultural minority found almost everywhere is the international frequent flyer. Many societies today are multicultural because they are open to a diversity of peoples who come and go and, sometimes, stay.¹

      It is the fact that many seek to stay in the societies they have entered, however, that gives rise...

    • Chapter 3 Multiculturalism: A Value-Pluralist Approach
      (pp. 44-62)
      George Crowder

      “Multiculturalism” means different things to different people. There is agreement on its general definition: public recognition of the value of multiple cultural identities within the same society. But when it comes to explaining what purpose is properly served by multiculturalism—and consequently the precise form that multicultural policy should take— opinions are divided. On the one hand there is the conservative view that multiculturalism should properly amount to no more than a pragmatic vehicle for integrating new migrants into the cultural mainstream (Galligan and Roberts 2004: chap. 4). Within this conservative position there are those, especially representing business interests, who...

    • Chapter 4 Liberal Nationalism and the Multicultural State
      (pp. 63-82)
      John Kane

      Understanding the challenge of multiculturalism requires an appreciation of the ambiguous and altering relationship between liberalism and nationalism. The principle of political nationalism—each cultural nation to be selfgoverning within its own state—is quite distinct from the core principles of liberalism, and in fact liberalism offers no convincing basis for nationalism. Nevertheless, the development of an international system of modern states ensured that liberalism became firmly wedded to nationalism early in the nineteenth century, when the compatibility between their different principles of self-determination was simply assumed. In fact, the successful operation of a liberal polity was held to depend...

    • Chapter 5 “Something That Deserves Our Admiration and Respect”
      (pp. 83-98)
      Barry Hindess

      InCitizenship and Social Class(1950) and a number of later works, T. H. Marshall takes up one of the central themes of late nineteenth-century social liberalism, arguing that the state has a responsibility to ensure that no one is excluded from the full enjoyment of their citizenship simply because they suffer from certain kinds of disadvantage. He describes citizenship as involving three sets of rights:civilrights to liberty and equality before the law;politicalrights to vote and to participate in the political process;socialrights to participate fully in the way of life that is shared by...

  7. Part II Democracy and Diversity

    • Chapter 6 Three Images of the Citizenry
      (pp. 101-118)
      Philip Pettit

      Despite the high level of attention paid in recent years to the notion of citizen and citizenship (Kymlicka and Norman 1994; Norman and Kymlicka 2003), I know of no treatment of the collective idea of the citizenry. Perhaps the reason is an assumption that “the citizenry” is just a collective way of designating the assemblage of citizens: that there is no collective entity that it names. What it is to be a citizen is defined in more or less independent terms, so the assumption would go, and the citizenry make an appearance as the natural effect of multiplication. “The citizenry”...

    • Chapter 7 “Civicity” and Multiculturalism: A Comment on Pettit
      (pp. 119-128)
      Martin Krygier

      Philip Pettit’s chapter is primarily concerned with “the collective idea of the citizenry,” what might be called the social ontology of citizenship. Most of the chapter is devoted to expounding three different conceptions of that ontology, and exploring their normative-political implications. They are pregnant with implications for multiculturalism, but as is the nature of pregnancy, not all that is contained within has yet been delivered, at least not here. I want to say something about the implications already evident in the chapter and try to induce reflection on some others, not because I imagine Pettit has not conceived of them,...

    • Chapter 8 Multiculturalism and Resentment
      (pp. 129-148)
      Duncan Ivison

      There are two kinds of resentment relevant to the politics of multiculturalism today.¹ The first, which is basically Nietzsche’s conception ofressentiment,occurs under conditions in which people are subject to systematic and structural deprivation of things they want (and need), combined with a sense of powerlessness about being able to do anything about it. It manifests itself in terms of a focused anger or hatred toward that group of people who seem to have everything they want, and yet also symbolize their powerlessness to get it. For Nietzsche, of course, it was out of this set of emotions and...

  8. Part III Community, Culture, and Rights

    • Chapter 9 Conflicting Imaginaries in Australian Multiculturalism: Women’s Rights, Group Rights, and Aboriginal Customary Law
      (pp. 151-170)
      Moira Gatens

      Women’s human rights theorists frequently comment on the asymmetrical effects on women and men of globalized markets, international politics, and the worldwide movement of so-called modernization. In postcolonial societies, such as Australia, these asymmetrical effects multiply the already deeply gendered nature of the historical practices of colonization (Wohlan 2005: 17). The imposition of European norms of femininity and masculinity, along with the norm of separating family life from public life, have had a profound, sex-specific impact on traditional Aboriginal ways of life. Human rights principles were, from the beginning, more adapted to “public man” and “public life,” and many theorists...

    • Chapter 10 Loyalty and Membership: Globalization and Its Impact on Citizenship, Multiculturalism, and the Australian Community
      (pp. 171-187)
      Kim Rubenstein

      A major change in Australian citizenship law occurred on 4 April 2002.¹ On that day, the governor-general of Australia assented to the passage of the Australian Citizenship Amendment Act 2002 (Cth).² Before that date, Australian citizens who took up a new citizenship (like Rupert Murdoch taking up U.S. citizenship) automatically lost their Australian citizenship. After that date, any Australian citizen taking up a new citizenship was entitled to keep their Australian citizenship. Underpinning the former provision and its repeal are differing views of loyalty and allegiance to the nation-state.

      This chapter argues that the differing views underpinning the debate about...

    • Chapter 11 Multiculturalism and Migration Law
      (pp. 188-206)
      Arthur Glass

      The multiculturalism of the title of this chapter refers not to the interests and claims of all diverse cultural groups that presently see themselves as distinct from the dominant culture. Multiculturalism has its conventional usage, at least in the Australian context, as a means of identifying the interests and claims of newer immigrant groups, often from non– English-speaking parts of the world, as against older established immigrant groups (primarily from the United Kingdom and Ireland). If further justification is needed for my delimitation of the term, I point to the other part of my title. For migration law is intimately...

  9. Part IV Australian Multiculturalism:: Success or Failure?

    • Chapter 12 Multiculturalism, National Identity, and Pluralist Democracy: The Australian Variant
      (pp. 209-224)
      Brian Galligan and Winsome Roberts

      Australia is commonly called a multicultural society, and this description has been endorsed in official statements of national identity and citizenship. But what sort of multiculturalism does Australia have? And how does this fit with its national identity and strong pluralist democracy? Answering these questions is important for self-understanding as well as comparative analysis, and is the focus of our chapter. Most of our attention is directed toward Australian multiculturalism, examining its character and responding to critics of our recent account inAustralian Citizenship(Galligan and Roberts 2004). We begin by locating Australia within the current broader theoretical and comparative...

    • Chapter 13 A Pragmatic Response to a Novel Situation: Australian Multiculturalism
      (pp. 225-241)
      James Jupp

      Australia was founded in 1901 as a white, British nation and part of the British Empire, at that time the largest and most multicultural political entity in the world. There was almost unanimous agreement in the debates leading up to Federation that this white, British basis was not contestable. It enjoyed the political support of the great majority of the population, expressed through manhood suffrage and the secret ballot. Thus it was not an artificial formulation, imposed on a reluctant population, as in the Russian or Austro-Hungarian empires. But neither did it emerge from warfare, as in the United States....

    • Chapter 14 Is Australian Multiculturalism in Crisis? A Comment on Galligan and Roberts and on Jupp
      (pp. 242-253)
      Maria R. Markus

      Let me begin with a series of questions that, I think, can be posed on the basis of the two previous chapters and are perhaps worthwhile to pursue somewhat further.

      (1) Is there a crisis of Australian multiculturalism?¹

      (2) If there is a crisis, what does it consist of?

      (3) And finally, how did it emerge and how can it be overcome, if at all?

      The contributors focus mainly on various ups and downs of Australian multiculturalism, relating them to broader theoretical debates, some suggesting not just its inescapable “demise” but straightforwardly the irrelevance of the concept in the...

    • Chapter 15 Multiculturalism and Australian National Identity
      (pp. 254-276)
      Geoffrey Brahm Levey

      Perhaps the most animated controversy surrounding multiculturalism in Australia concerns its implications for Australian national identity. This, of course, is not surprising given that people’s identity and sense of place and belonging are involved. But the controversy is also fueled by a perception that multiculturalism threatens social cohesion and the political integrity of the state, challenges for which a robust national identity has long been believed the necessary answer.

      Among liberal philosophers, John Stuart Mill forcefully put this case for the crucial importance of common national sentiment. “Free institutions,” wrote Mill (1972: 361) in 1859, “are next to impossible in...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 277-280)
  11. References
    (pp. 281-304)
  12. Index
    (pp. 305-316)