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Rights, Culture and the LawThemes from the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz$
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Lukas H. Meyer, Stanley L. Paulson, and Thomas W. Pogge

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248254

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248254.001.0001

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Communal Groups and Cultural Conflict

Communal Groups and Cultural Conflict

(p.205) 12 Communal Groups and Cultural Conflict
Rights, Culture and the Law


Oxford University Press

In certain ways, Joseph Raz's distinct version of a liberal moral and political theory seems to be particularly congenial to political conceptions of multiculturalism, understood as political support for a variety of cultural communities. For Raz, notions like personal well-being, freedom or autonomy, leading a successful life are the central elements of normative political theory. Freedom and the chances of leading a successful life are crucially dependent on certain cultural and social conditions. Freedom requires the availability of meaningful options, and such options are provided by group membership, the participation in group cultures or in collective ways of life, and the immersion in ‘social forms’. Another important condition is the fact of pluralism, and more specifically of value pluralism. This chapter discusses the goals or claims of communal groups and cultural conflicts, conflicts arising from cultural differences, special support for cultural groups, and identity politics.

Keywords:   communal groups, cultural conflicts, Joseph Raz, multiculturalism, value pluralism, cultural differences, group cultures, identity politics

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