Multiculturalism: Between Identity and Recognition

Analyzing the work of two philosophers on identity conflicts in international relations.

This paper brings forward Will Kymlicka’s study on polyethnicity and multinational states, and compares it with Charles Taylor’s famous concept of the politics of recognition. It shows how the study of identity and its politics is very important in the effort to understand control and somehow reduce the occurrence of group conflicts.
“In the last decade, the international political arena has seen the rise of groups discontent that leads to conflicts and even to separatist movements. Some of them actually stem from long-term tensions that were suppressed by the Cold War international arrangement. According to Daniel L. Smith (1989, p. 385), these conflicts are maintained in the minds of the actors according to the symbols and motifs that they have. Any solution to such conflicts can only be obtained by addressing the cultural identity of the people themselves. The study of identity and its politics is therefore very important in the effort to understand control and somehow reduce the occurrence of group conflicts.”

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