Introduction: Can Multiculturalism Survive the Rise of the Political Right?
This chapter provides the background for the book’s discussion on multiculturalism’s survival. It brings to light logical inconsistencies between the ideological positions of the right and the recognition and accommodation of cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity (i.e. multiculturalism). It also shows that multiculturalism emerged during the latter half of the twentieth century and, more precisely, at a time when citizens across liberal democracies put their support squarely behind parties of the political left. Due to the rise of the political right in recent decades, which has been accompanied both by a decline of centre-left and social democratic parties and a growing “contagion from the right”, one should therefore expect multiculturalism to be in retreat; the book explains why there is still hope that multiculturalism may yet survive under these conditions.
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