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Koopmans and Orgad argue that multiculturalism has taken a life of its own, swinging too far in one direction. The authors assert that the rapidly changing reality calls for a new majority–minority theory and argue that the moral justifications for cultural minority rights should also apply to majority groups. They present two areas in which majorities may become culturally vulnerable and need legal protection: immigration control and domestic affairs. The core of the argument is rooted in a unique framework to address majority–minority constellations. This “intergroup differentiation approach” distinguishes between “homeland majorities” and “migratory majorities,” alongside the traditional distinction of indigenous/national and migratory minorities. In doing so, they criticize the tendency in the multiculturalism literature to gloss over differences between the Anglo-Saxon classical immigration countries, where majorities are of migratory origin, and the countries of the Old World, where new minorities of immigrant origin face indigenous majorities. Koopmans and Orgad provide practical examples for the implementation of their approach and explain the different meanings of cultural majority rights. Only by a contextualized and relational consideration of groups, they conclude, can competing demands of majorities and minorities be fairly evaluated.
The design of democratic institutions includes a variety of barriers to protect against the tyranny of the majority, including international human rights, cultural minority rights, and multiculturalism. In the twenty-first century, majorities have re-asserted themselves, sometimes reasonably, referring to social cohesion and national identity, at other times in the form of populist movements challenging core foundations of liberal democracy. This volume intervenes in this debate by examining the legitimacy of conflicting majority and minority claims. Are majorities a legal concept, holding rights and subject to limitations? How can we define a sense of nationhood that brings groups together rather than tears them apart? In this volume, world-leading experts are brought together for the first time to debate the rights of both majorities and minorities. The outcome is a fascinating exchange on one of the greatest challenges facing liberal democracies today.
compares cosmopolitan versus communitarian issue positions by mass publics and elites across our study. We investigate whether there is an attitude gap between elites, who tend to adhere to cosmopolitan positions, and mass publics with more communitarian leanings. Contrasting mass opinion surveys with results from our own elite survey, we show that the mass-elite divide on globalization issues is indeed pervasive and found in all five countries of study. We consider both economic causes in the shape of diverging material interests and cultural ones, the latter pointing towards cultural capital and symbolic boundaries defining transnational cosmopolitan class consciousness. The results align more with the cultural than with the economic explanation. Political elites in the five countries display convergent cosmopolitan positions across issues as varied as international trade, climate change, migration and supranational integration. Mass publics are much more divided on these issues. Also, education alone does not explain the mass-elite gap because the elites are still significantly more cosmopolitan than highly educated members of mass publics, even within the same country.
“Globalization has transformed the inner workings of societies, and produced a new emerging cleavage between cosmopolitans and communitarians, affecting the working of our party system and democracy as a whole. The chapter summarizes the most crucial empirical findings of the book, moving from descriptive to more normative issues and asks: What does the struggle over borders mean for the quality of democracy? What understandings of democracy do the cosmopolitan and communitarian positions draw on? What are their flaws and virtues from a democratic point of view? Our core answer is the following: Both normative positions have become politically more prominent during the last decades of globalization, but both provide answers that exhibit considerable weaknesses when measured against the criteria of democratic quality. Nevertheless, both concepts have more room to forge compromises than the cosmopolitan and communitarian theoreticians themselves often assume. Cosmopolitan communitarianism or communitarian cosmopolitanism appear to represent the most promising compromises to overcome the democratic shortcomings of both pure narratives.”