Will Kymlicka

Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Recognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies

Edited by Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka, Oxford University Press, 2006, 424 pp.

...of great interest to ongoing philosophical debates surrounding recognition and redistribution...Fans of Kymlicka's work will appreciate that this group share his gift for clarity and accessibility...

Joshua Preiss, Ethics

In many Western democracies, ethnic and racial minorities have demanded, and sometimes achieved, greater recognition and accommodation of their identities. This is reflected in the adoption of multiculturalism policies for immigrant groups, the acceptance of territorial autonomy and language rights for national minorities, and the recognition of land claims and self-government rights for indigenous peoples. These claims for recognition have been controversial, in part because of fears that they make it more difficult to sustain a robust welfare state by eroding the interpersonal trust, social solidarity and political coalitions that sustain redistribution. Are these fears of a conflict between a "politics of recognition" and a "politics of redistribution" valid?

This volume is the first systematic attempt to empirically test this question, using both cross-national statistical analyses of the relationships among diversity policies, public attitudes and the welfare state, and case studies of the recognition/ redistribution linkage in the political coalitions in particular countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, and in Latin America. These studies suggest that that there is no general or inherent tendency for recognition to undermine redistribution, and that the relationship between these two forms of politics can be supportive as well as competitive, depending on the context. These findings shed important light, not only on the nature and effects of multiculturalism, but also on wider debates about the social and political foundations of the welfare state, and indeed about our most basic concepts of citizenship and national identity. As a ground-breaking attempt to connect the literatures on multiculturalism and the welfare state, this volume will be of great interest to a wide range of scholars and practitioners who work on issues of ethnocultural diversity and social policy.

The authors do what social scientists are meant to do: shoot down misconceptions and myths, propose hypotheses and provisional conclusions, while identifying questions for further research.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Journal of Social Policy

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    1. Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka, "Introduction: Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Setting the context"/n
  • Part I: Cross-national studies

    1. Keith Banting, Richard Johnston, Will Kymlicka, and Stuart Soroka, "Do Multiculturalism policies erode the welfare state? An empirical analysis"
    2. Markus Crepaz, "'If you are my brother, I may give you a dime!' Public opinion on multiculturalism, trust, and the welfare state"
  • Part II: Case studies

    1. Rodney E. Hero and Robert R. Preuhs, "Multiculturalism and welfare policies in the US states: A state-level comparative analysis"
    2. Geoffrey Evans, "Is multiculturalism eroding support for welfare provision? The British case"
    3. Han Entzinger, "The parallel decline of multiculturalism and the welfare state in the Netherlands"
    4. Peter A. Kraus and Karen Schönwälder, "Multiculturalism in Germany: Rhetoric, scattered experiments, and future chances"
    5. Matt James, "Do campaigns for historical redress erode the Canadian welfare state?"
    6. Nicola McEwen, "Does the recognition of national minorities undermine the welfare state?"
    7. Donna Lee Van Cott, "Multiculturalism versus neoliberalism in Latin America"
    8. Willem Assies, "Neoliberalism and the re-emergence of ethnopolitics in Bolivia"
  • Part III: Theoretical reflections

    1. David Miller, "Multiculturalism and the welfare state: Theoretical reflections"
    2. John Myles and Sébastien St.-Arnaud, "Population diversity, multiculturalism, and the welfare state: Should welfare state theory be revised?"