George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

December 2011

Modood’s Multiculturalism: a Civic Idea

Opposite the critiques of group-rights, stands Tariq Modood who is one of the most vocal proponents of multiculturalism in the UK. His book Multiculturalism: a Civic Idea (2007) is a reply to the conservative claims that multiculturalism is dead, like those advanced by the British Prime Minister David Cameron when discussing terrorism and radicalisation (05 February 2011).

Kymlicka’s Multicultural Citizenship

In this post, I provide a summary of Will Kymlicka’s very influential book on multiculturalism, titled Multicultural Citizenship: a liberal theory of minority rights. This book is important for everyone interested in multiculturalism since it initiated the contemporary debate about group-differentiated rights. One needs not to fully agree with Kymlicka to acknowledge his courageous effort to challenge liberalism’s atomistic individualism by promoting an interpretation of traditional liberal values which demands special treatment to members of some (minorities and immigrant) groups. In doing so, Kymlicka challenges the long assumed neutrality of the liberal state. His thinking and argumentation comes within liberalism itself, which is what makes his case distinctive (if anyone...

Young on Global Justice

Young’s book Responsibility for Justice came out this year, five years after her sudden death. Young’s book is one of the most important contributions to the debate of global justice. The main question that she addresses is ‘how shall agents, both individual or organizational, think about our responsibility in relation to structural injustice?’ (p. 95). Young distinguishes between the liability conception of responsibility and what she calls the social connection model of responsibility. The former is based on the legalistic notion of blame and guild, whilst the latter is based on a new conception of political responsibility, which is fundamentally different from legal responsibility.

The troll is dead, long live the troll

Flavia Dzodan from Tiger Beatdown has a very interesting post on internet trolls, amusingly titled “The Troll is dead! Foxnewsification and the notion that all points of view are valuable“. The argument is that the traditional troll as we know it, that gloomy person who uses hateful rhetoric, is now obsolete because his/her tactics have become mainstream, overpassing in a way the traditional persona. Racism, sexism, and hateful speech became common, and we (the moderators) but most importantly news agencies, do not do anything drastic about it. More often than not, we allow some rather hateful comments under the assumption that everyone is entitled to an opinion. This is not the case Flavia Dzodan argues and I agree with her because hate speech is another form of violence and...

Tully's Strange Multiplicity

I give a summary of what I consider to be one of the greatest works of contemporary political philosophy. Tully, in his book Strange Multiplicity (1995) gives an account of what a just constitution would look like. In a just constitution he tells us ‘each speaker is given her or his due, and this is exactly the initial question raised by the politics of cultural recognition’ (p. 6). A just constitution arises through deliberation among equals; people who mutually recognise each other for what they are without reducing them to familiar and convenient images that distort and misrepresent them. This requirement (of diversity) has been ignored in the discussion of multiculturalism, since ‘cultures are conceived as analogous to the more familiar constitutional concept of nations’ (p. 8)...

George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

Social Media

Follow me on twitter