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Monday, February 16, 2015

Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Rights

Book Review by Idil Boran
Notre Dame Philosophical Review
Originally published January 14, 2015

Alan Patten, Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Rights, Princeton University Press, 2014, 327pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780691159379.

Those interested in moral and political philosophy over the last three decades will remember that questions pertaining to cultural diversity and minority rights dominated the literature during that period. The center of gravity was Will Kymlicka's compelling discussion and justification of minority rights within the framework of philosophical liberalism. The debate that ensued didn't just give rise to a constellation of philosophical arguments and positions. It created a global movement, giving inspiration to the then newly forming states of the post-Soviet era to rethink how politics of cultural identity could be integrated with principles of liberalism. Around ten years ago, however, scholarly interest in these theoretical questions was already starting to run its course. Many specialists who were associated with issues of liberalism and minority rights in the 1990's gradually began exploring new horizons of normative inquiry on justice as time went on. Some moved on to issues of global justice, and the role and status of state institutions and the relevance of borders for inquiry on justice. Others returned to the debates on egalitarianism and distributive justice, or other related themes.

The entire book review is here.