How can we respect the claims of ethnic and religious groups and, at the same time, protect individual rights and equality? This question is central to debates in political theory about multiculturalism, identity, self-determination, and pluralism. Canada's protection of minority rights can be gauged by how public institutions weigh the claims of minorities against the values protected by individual rights, including children's rights and women's equality. Diversity and Equality deals with the challenge of protecting rights in diverse societies. All rights traditions are tied to the character of the debates in which they have been historically implicated. The authors in this collection examine some of these debates and the groups that participate in them, including Aboriginal peoples, religious and ethnic minorities, children, women, and of course, the majority or mainstream. This book provides a sustained treatment of how diversity and equality are balanced in law and public policy. It is a gateway, in terms of both theory and analysis, to the new direction that Canada is taking to minority rights and the rights of Aboriginal peoples, and is therefore indispensable for anyone interested in minority rights in Canada today.
Avigail Eisenberg is a professor of political science at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Reconstructing Political Pluralism and co-editor of Minorities within Minorities and Painting the Maple.
Acknowledgments Introduction: New Approaches to Fundamental Freedom in Canada / Avigail Eisenberg 1. Reconciling Struggles over the Recognition of Minorities: Towards a Dialogical Approach / James Tully 2. Reasoning about Identity: Canada's Distinctive Culture Test / Avigail Eisenberg 3. The Imperative of "Culture" in a Colonial and de Facto Polity / Shauna McRanor 4. Culture as a Basic Human Right / Cindy Holder 5. The Misuse of "Culture" by the Supreme Court of Canada / Neil Vallance 6. Gender, Difference, and Anti-Essentialism: Towards a Feminist Response to Cultural Claims in Law / Maneesha Deckha 7. Interpreting the Identity Claims of Young Children / Colin Macleod 8. Protecting Confessions of Faith and Securing Equality of Treatment for Religious Minorities in Education / 9. The Irreducibly Religious Content of Freedom of Religion / Jeremy Webber Notes on Contributors Index