The Bouchard-Taylor Report on Cultural and Religious Accommodation: Multiculturalism by Any Other Name?
EUI Working Papers LAW No. 2009/18
34 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2010
Date Written: December 1, 2009
In 2008, Gerard Bouchard and Charles Taylor released an important report as Co-Chairs of the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences. The Commission was set up by the Quebec government in response to public discontent concerning "reasonable accommodation" of religious and cultural practices. In the report, four delicate issues, among others, are examined: cultural integration, collective identity, church-state relations and the most appropriate procedures for handling cultural and religious harmonization requests. Altogether, the Co-Chairs’ positions propound a normative conception of sociocultural integration in a pluralist society. This conception, that may be called "interculturalism", is conceived by the commissioners as an alternative to "multiculturalism". The text examines whether interculturalism, as conceived in the report, is anything but a version of multiculturalism. The contention is that it is a rose by any other name.
Keywords: multiculturalism, interculturalism, church-state relationship, Canada
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