Dealing with Difference: Four Models of Pluralist Politics
Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 53, pp. 198-217, 2000
20 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 18, 2010
Pluralism of ideals, interests and identities are inescapable features of contemporary polities. Such pluralism makes politics necessary whilst sometimes rendering it virtually impossible. This article examines four models of pluralist politics. The first tries to abstract from people's differences and find neutral ground in a liberal constitution. The second seeks a modus vivendi between competing interest groups. The third employs group rights to separate the various sources of pluralism into more or less homogenous units. The fourth gives voice to and recognises the different ideals, interests and identities of individuals and groups, whilst encouraging the negotiation of fair accommodations between them in ways that sustain and even reshape, but do not destroy, political community.
Keywords: Pluralism, Democracy, Liberalism, Culture, Compromise
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