The development of liberalism with both the courage and the capacity to engage itself with a different world, one in which its principles are neither well understood nor widely held, in which indeed it is, in most places, a minority creed, alien and suspect, is not only possible, it is necessary.
-Clifford Geertz. 2000. Available Light. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, p. 258.
Over the past two decades, the debate over multiculturalism challenged the justice of neutral, “difference blind” rules in liberal democracies. Allegedly neutral institutions were shown to be implicitly biased toward the priorities, experiences, or interests of the dominant groups in the society. Criticism of difference-blind rules and claims for justice to minority groups defined the relationship between government and opposition in many contexts. Arguments for special rights to protect minorities, women, or ethnocultural groups gained legitimacy (Young 1990, Jones 1990, Phillips 1991, Taylor 1994, Kymlicka 1995, Kymlicka and Norman 2000).