Will Kymlicka

Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights

Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Persian, Japanese, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Korean, Ukranian, Swedish, French, Serbian, Norwegian, Macedonian, Indonesian, Bulgarian, Bosnian (Excerpt).

...this is an immensely rich, informative, and above all clarifying work, written by a first-class philosophical mind, animated by a humane outlook.

Charles Taylor, American Political Science Review

The increasingly multicultural fabric of modern societies has given rise to many new issues and conflicts, as ethnic and national minorities demand recognition and support for their cultural identity. This book presents a new conception of the rights and status of minority cultures. It argues that certain "collective rights" of minority cultures are consistent with liberal democratic principles, and that standard liberal objections to such rights can be answered. However, the author emphasizes that no single formula can be applied to all groups, and that the needs and aspirations of immigrants are very different from those of indigenous peoples and national minorities. He looks at issues such as language rights, group representation, religious education, federalism, and secession--issues central to an understanding of multicultural politics, but which have been neglected in contemporary liberal theory. Scholars of political theory and philosophy, as well as the general reader, will find this work to be the most comprehensive analysis to date of this crucial political issue.

...exemplary in its commitment to bring liberal theory to bear on some of the most tormenting issues of our day...

David Laitin, Political Theory

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Politics of Multiculturalism
  3. Individual Rights and Collective Rights
  4. Rethinking the Liberal Tradition
  5. Freedom and Culture
  6. Justice and Minority Rights
  7. Ensuring a Voice for Minorities
  8. Toleration and its Limits
  9. The Ties that Bind
  10. Conclusion


  • Excerpted (Chapter 3) in Gerd Baumann and Steven Vertovec (eds.) Multiculturalism: Critical Concepts in Sociology (Routledge, forthcoming).
  • Excerpts are translated into Ukrainian as "A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights" (Centre for Educational Initiatives, Kharkis, 2002).
  • Excerpts are translated into Bosnian as "Multikulturno Gradanstvoin", in Dijalog: casopis za filozofska i druÕtvena pitanja, (Sarajevo, 2001) pp. 131-53.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 6) and translated into Bulgarian in Critique and Humanist (Sofia),Vol.16/2 (2003) pp. 241-68.
  • Excerpted (Chapters 2 and 6) in Robert Goodin and Philip Pettit (eds.) Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology (Blackwells, 1997), pp. 366-88.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 9) in Gerson Shafir (ed.) The Citizenship Debates: A Reader (University of Minnesota Press, 1998), pp. 167-88.
  • Excerpted (Chapters 1-2) in William Lasser (ed.) Perspectives on American Politics, Third Edition (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2000).
  • Excerpted (Chapter 6) in Gurpreet Mahajan (ed.) Democracy, Difference and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1998), pp. 104-113.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 4) in Montserrat Guibernau and John Rex (eds.) The Ethnicity Reader: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration (Polity Press, 1997), pp. 29-47.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 5) in George Sher and Baruch Brody (eds.) Social and Political Philosophy: Contemporary Readings (Harcourt, Brace Publishers, 1999), pp. 430-42.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 6) in David Johnston (ed.) Equality (Hackett, 2000), pp. 234-42.
  • Excerpted (Chapters 5-6) in Michael Howlett and David Laycock (eds.) The Puzzles of Power: An Introduction to Political Science, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 56-77.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 7) in Ricardo Blaug and John Schwarzmantel (eds.) Democracy: A Reader (Edinburgh University Press, 2000), pp. 401-6.
  • Excerpted (Chapter 6) in Andrew Bailey et. al. (eds.) The Broadview Anthology of Social and Political Thought: Volume 2: The Twentieth Century and Beyond (Broadview Press, Peterborough, 2008), pp. 409-26.
  • Chapter 1 translated into Persian in Goftegu Journal, No. 43, Mehr 1384 [October 2005], pp. 65-76.