Within Western political philosophy, the rights of groups has often been neglected or addressed in only the narrowest fashion. Focusing solely on whether rights are exercised by individuals or groups misses what lies at the heart of ethnocultural conflict, leaving the crucial question unanswered: can the familiar system of common citizenship rights within liberal democracies sufficiently accommodate the legitimate interests of ethnic citizens.
Specifically, how does membership in an ethnic group differ from other groups, such as professional, lifestyle, or advocacy groups? How important is ethnicity to personal identity and self-respect, and does accommodating these interests require more than standard citizenship rights? Crucially, what forms of ethnocultural accommodations are consistent with democratic equality, individual freedom, and political stability? Invoking numerous cases studies and addressing the issue of ethnicity from a range of perspectives, Ethnicity and Group Rights seeks to answer these questions.
Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he also serves as Henry R. Luce Director of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. He is the editor or author of numerous books, most recently Political Contingency (NYU Press) and Rethinking Political Institutions (NYU Press). WILL KYMLICKA is Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa and at Carleton University.