Majoritarian Interculturalism and Multicultural Nationalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Interculturalism, in its two forms, critiques multiculturalism. A European version emphasises cultural encounter and novelty, and is relatively apolitical except for its disavowal of the national in preference for the local and the transnational. In contrast, its Quebecan counterpart gives significance to the idea of the right of a national community to use state power to reproduce itself. Whilst the former is a recognisably cosmopolitan vision I ask if the latter represents a distinctive mode of integration. The core of the talk is a textual examination of two recent publications by leading public intellectual scholars in Quebec, Gerard Bouchard and Charles Taylor, respectively, including a lengthy discussion of the former’s concept of ‘majority precedence’. I conclude that while such thinkers rightly press multiculturalists to think about the normative significance of the majority, the arguments for ‘majority precedence’ are flawed. Moreover, multicultural nationalism is well placed to balance the normative identity claims of the majority and the minorities that these authors seek when they emphasise the importance of mutual recognition, reciprocity and balance, though they tend to go astray when they express this as ‘majority precedence’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCitizenship and Multiculturalism in Western Liberal Democracies
EditorsDavid Edward Tabachnick, Leah Bradshaw
Place of PublicationLanham, Maryland
PublisherLexington Books
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


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