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March 18, 19 & 20, 2010

5th Annual International Conference Multiculturalism and Social Justice, March 22 & 23, 2009

International Symposium, February 17 & 18, 2008
Identity and Alterity in Multiculturalism and Social Justice:"Conflicts", "Identity", "Alterity", "Solutions?"

International Conference, March 24 & 25, 2007

Working Papers Series (MCSJ)

Research Members:

Paul Dumouchel, Professor Ritsumeikan University

Jerremy Eades, Professor Ristumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)

Reiko Gotoh, Professor, Ritsumeikan University

Nagao Nishikawa, Professor, Ritsumeikan Universtiy

Masachi Osawa, Professor, Kyoto University

Lilian Terumi Hatano, Professor, Konan Women University

Shigeki Tominaga, Professor, Kyoto University

Student Members:

Research Purpose

The goal of this research is to systematically investigate the relationship between two types of social policies and the normative theories of justice that underlie them: universal policies of welfare and well-being that are underwritten by theories of social justice on the one hand and on the other hand multicultural policies and the theories of cultural and minority rights that support them. Even though researchers have long been quite aware of the interference between these two types of approaches, and even if many have implicitly recognized that to an extent both types of policies and theories often address similar (or closely related) problems (Claude, 1955), to our knowledge no one has ever attempted to systematically investigate the relationship that exist between the ones and the others. Mostly researchers have been concerned with questions of compatibility between multiculturalism and theories of justice (for example Taylor 1994; Kymlicka 1995; Banting & Kymlicka, 2006) or of incompatibility (Barry, 2001); with the success or failure of liberalism to offer cultural protection without resorting to minority rights or group differentiated arrangements (Kukathas, 2003; Tully, 1995), and centrally with the place of group rights in the framework of universal theories of justice (Van Dyke, 1982; Margalit & Raz, 1990; Hatney, 1991; Scheffler, 2001; Sachar 2002). In other words, the relations between universal policies and theories and particularistic claims and justifications have generally been conceived under the headings of conflict and opposition. Different authors strive to situate themselves within this conflict taking either the side of group rights or of universal equal rights, or claiming that the conflict is more apparent than real or to the opposite that it is final and definitive. Our claim is that there are different (and perhaps more interesting) questions to be asked concerning the relationship between social justice and multiculturalism than those that have been driving this controversy. Furthermore we believe that answering these questions may bring interesting insights towards the resolution of the conflict between group rights and universal theories of justice.

Donald Horowitz in the second edition of his classic Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985/2001) claimed that the evolution of research in that domain since the first publication of his work had to a large extent been “issue driven”. The same may be said of this research project. In part because of academic discussions concerning cultural rights, but also because of a changing social and economic environment questions of multiculturalism and of group specific rights or arrangements have become burning issues for numerous governments. However multiculturalism viewed not as a normative theory of justice or as an explicit government policy but as a socio-historical situation has existed from a very long time. It can even be argued that it constitutes a historical norm; most political entities that existed were poly-ethnic and multicultural. Why then has the problem suddenly erupted onto the political scene where it is often perceived as both a failure of universal theories of justice and as a threat to the continued existence of policies based on them? Conceived of in this light, the conflict between multiculturalism and theories of social justice we believe reflects a transformation that it does not clearly reveal. It is the study of this transformation that constitutes the ultimate objective of our research.

Our guiding hypothesis is that this transformation is essentially political in the sense that multiculturalism or group rights imply redesigning the political community and its public space of communication and deliberation (Dumouchel, 2000). The conflict between individual rights and group rights simultaneously hides and bears witness to a profound change in the way individual agents are integrated in their political community as is revealed also by the central importance given to the issue of identity in these debates (Young, 1999). If this hypothesis is right it suggests an important reason why focusing on social welfare policies and the theories of justice underlying them is fundamental: since the end of the Second World War they have been a powerful tool of social and political integration.

This transformation has social, economic and demographic causes, i.e. globalization, a changing international environment, some longer terms effect of decolonization, large scale migration of labor force, etc. that cannot be ignored. However our focus will not be on these causes but on the transformation of the political space itself as well as on the justification of that transformation and on the way both phenomena ? the transformation and its justification ? are revealed in academic discussions and in changes in policy. The reason for this focus is in part because these causes have already been extensively studied. It is also because we believe that the transformation taking place at the political level is not a mere consequence of economic and social factors but a locus of initiatives that are in part responsible for the changes.

In the course of four years we hope to accomplish two things. The more general output that we look forward to from this research is to move this understanding of the issue towards the center of the debates surrounding multiculturalism through publications and by organizing an international conference on multiculturalism and social justice. The more specific expected academic output is to characterize clearly the nature and the extent of political changes taking place. Ultimately, but beyond the scope of what can be arrived at in the next four years, this research should lead to the formulation of a normative theory of social and political justice that is geared towards our changing situation.

K. Banting & W. Kymlicka Multiculturalism and the Welfare State, 2006; B. Barry Culture and Equality 2001; I. Claude National Minorities an International Problem 1955; P. Dumouchel “Communaute, droit et justice sociale” in Mondialisation, citoyennete et multiculturalisme 2000; M. Hartney “Some Confusion Concerning Collective Rights” Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 4/2: 2993-312; D. Horowitz Ethnic Groups in Conflict 1985/2000; C. Kukathas The Liberal Archipelago 2001; A Margalit & J. Raz “National Self-Determination” Journal of Philosophy 87/9: 439-461; S. Scheffler Boundaries and Allegiances 2001; A. Sachar Multicultural Jurisdictions 2002; C. Taylor “The Politics of Recognition” in Multiculturalism (A. Gutmann, ed) 1994; J. Tully Strange Multiplicity 1995; V. Van Dyke “Collective Entities and Moral Rights: Problems in Liberal Democratic Thought” Journal of Politics 44:21-40; J. Young The Exclusive Society, 1999.

UP:20071120 REV:20110831 http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/gr/gsce/s/pd01/Multiculturalism_and_Social_Justice.html

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