Reconciling liberal pluralism and group rights: A comparative perspective on Oaxaca, Mexico’s, experiment in multiculturalism
“Autonomy” as a concept contains a slew of meanings, connotations, and frames. This chapter considers the degree to which minority groups can operate independently from the state and its dominant culture as well as the degree to which individuals are free to make conscious decisions about the institutions, parties, and practices they support. Using examples given throughout the book of indigenous rights movements in Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatán) to analyze the proper unit (individual, interest group, community, region) for states’ granting and indigenous movements’ seizure of autonomy, the chapter offers preliminary explorations of multicultural indigenous rights regimes, and their challenges to liberal pluralism, in Mexico, Bolivia, and Ecuador. It concludes that only a frank consideration of the trade-offs between human rights and communitarian rights can yield the kind of self-aware multiculturalism that simultaneously respects the rights of groups and their individual members.
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