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15. Multiculturalism and Extremism:International Law Perspectives

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Chapter Summary

Multiculturalism is a concept that recognises and celebrates cultural identities. Opponents of multiculturalism argue that multiculturalism policies contribute to extremism, because they lead to the segregation of groups. This chapter addresses the criticisms that the multicultural ideal currently faces by employing current international law. According to C. Taylor, the autonomous, self-determining individual needs a social matrix that promotes in practice this exact idea of autonomy and gives opportunities for the individual to practice and develop her autonomy. Multiculturalism is also accused of devaluating national identity. The mere recognition of multiple identities does not lead to a truly multicultural society, as segregation can surface through measures aimed at the protection of the groups' distinctiveness. Criticisms against multiculturalism have been mainly based on a model that ignores the interaction between groups.

Keywords: extremism; international law; multiculturalism; national identity; segregation



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