Integration in a Pluralistic Society: Strategies for the Future

Bauböck, Rainer (May 1993) Integration in a Pluralistic Society: Strategies for the Future. Former Series > Working Paper Series > IHS Political Science Series 8


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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 territorialpolitical 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 onthe 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.;

Item Type: IHS Series
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:35
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 16:37

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