National Minorities and Ethnic Immigrants: Liberalism's Political Sociology

25 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2002 Last revised: 11 Sep 2017

See all articles by Sujit Choudhry

Sujit Choudhry

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

Drawing on the practices of culturally diverse liberal democracies, Will Kymlicka’s Multicultural Citizenship distinguishes between two types of ethnocultural groups — national minorities and ethnic immigrants — and claims that they differ in terms of their institutional completeness (complete vs. incomplete), manner of incorporation (voluntary vs. involuntary), the demands they place on liberal democracies (inclusion on fair terms vs. institutional separateness), and the rights they possess (polyethnic vs. self-government rights). Moreover, he claims that this sociological practice is normatively justified. On closer reflection, Kymlicka’s account is both normatively and sociologically deficient. Normatively, immigration against the background of material inequality undermines the legitimizing role of consent. As well, the normative work done by political sociology is highly questionable. Finally, Kymlicka’s political sociology is inaccurate.

Suggested Citation

Choudhry, Sujit, National Minorities and Ethnic Immigrants: Liberalism's Political Sociology (2002). Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 10, pp. 54-78, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=363201

Sujit Choudhry (Contact Author)

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

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