ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Liberal Multiculturalism Reconsidered

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory by Bhikhu Parekh; Macmillan Press, London, 2000; ppxii+379.

Cultural diversity is a central feature of the social life of most countries today. Yet their public philosophies and public policies tend to be governed by a monocultural, assimilationist, homogenising or majoritarian perspective, rather than by a multicultural perspective. Why and how this latter perspective needs to be adopted is movingly argued in this admirably wide-ranging and profoundly insightful book.

Its author combines in himself the competences and orientations of an eminent political philosopher and those of a dedicated intellectual activist and policy-adviser. Bhikhu Parekh has taught political theory at universities at Hull, Harvard, Montreal, etc. He has authored widely acclaimed books on the political thought of Bentham, Marx, Arendt and Gandhi. In the mid-1980s, he interrupted his teaching career at the University of Hull to take up the Vice-Chancellorship of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda for a three-year term, during which period he also served as a member of the University Grants Commission. On his return to Hull, he combined his teaching career with the deputy chairmanship of the UK Commission for Racial Equality. Subsequently, he served as chairman of the Commission on the Future of Multiethnic Britain. He has recently been made a life-member of the House of Lords.

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