Uslu, Cennet
April 2012
Muhafazakar Dusunce / Conservative Thought;nis-haz2012, Vol. 8 Issue 32, p75
Academic Journal
The failure of the nation-state's homogenizing policies towards different groups and cultures led to an intense theoretical discussion on the issue of difference in contemporary political theory. The main contribution to that discussion turning around collectivist and liberal categories came from the liberal wing. This study examines two liberal theories on difference with a comparative method. Although it calls generally "liberal" for theories of Will Kymlicka and Chandran Kukathas, the differences between two theories in terms of the consequence and the justification are significant. The differences show two different versions of the liberal tradition to be expressed in classical/libertarian/political liberalism and modern/egalitarian/comprehensive liberalism. For Kymlicka, it is necessary to grant collective rights to cultural groups, but at the same time "essential" or "real" differences of groups are not approved. In Kukathas' theory, collective rights are disapproved, but radical toleration for cultural diversities is voiced. In the comparative analysis of two theories, Kukathas' theory comes forward in point of allowing the "real" differences vis-à-vis Kymlicka's one. It is obvious that Kukathas' theory needs to be revised or reinforced at some points. But in any case, it seems the right alternative of focusing more on classical/libertarian/political version of liberalism for a theory of free political society, which tolerates all differences on the basis of individual freedom.


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