Moving Beyond the Crisis
Chapter 2: The old order: how Europe used to manage cultural diversity
There were two prior paradigms for the management of the relationship of the Self and Other—apart from exclusion of the Other, at worst through the Nazi genocide. Assimilationism had a ‘progressive’ aspect, as in the pure French version in which every individual was treated abstractly as an equal citoyen, but often took a ‘thicker’ form (including in France), where members of minority communities were required to subscribe to a purported majority ‘ethos’. It was associated with nationalizing states and was captured in the formula of ‘self-determination’ at the Paris Peace Conference, but its limits were exposed by the interwar collapse of the League of Nations and the rise of Nazism. By contrast, multiculturalism emerged after the second world war, holding that minority ‘communities’, treated as collective entities, had rights to equal ‘respect’ of their purported cultural identities.
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