Article title The Concept of Multiculturalism through the Prism of the Problem of Ensuring the National Minorities’ Rights

Ph.D. in Law, Associate Professor (Lviv, Ukraine) ORCID ID: Researcher ID:


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 11/2019
Сторінки [128-143]

Today, the firmly-established understanding of the concept of “rule of the people” as absolute power within the State’s territory held by the people’ seems to require that due account be taken of the challenges ensuing from globalization and mass migration. Globalization, which contributes to the dilution of ethnic and cultural identity, generally does not destroy the ethnic factor and does not lead to complete unification of the sociocultural sphere. One of the promising options for ensuring intercultural dialogue, resolving legal contradictions and achieving mutual understanding under conditions of coexistence, sometimes forced, of persons with different ethno-cultural mentalities is the idea and the political and legal concept of multiculturalism.

The purpose of the article is to make a philosophical and legal, and general theoretical analysis of the nature and types of multiculturalism through the prism of the problem of ensuring national minorities’ rights.

An important practical point is the general focus of communitarianism on the protection of rights of ethnic, confessional and other minorities, which brings communitarianism closer to multiculturalism to a certain extent. At the same time, evolution of the position taken by a part of liberals, from rejection to approval of multiculturalism as the legal policy, results from the influence of the communitarian paradigm and is an obvious proof of the synthesis and convergence of both philosophical trends, and testifies to the emergence of a conceptually new modified “hybrid” of policy and law – liberal communitarianism.

The author notes that by analogy with the “family of liberalisms” it is possible to speak of the “family of multiculturalism”, thus referring to the impossibility (and probably inexpediency) of creating the concept of multiculturalism which would be uniform for the entire global society. Both diachronically and geographically, social differences can be very significant. Multiculturalism as a political and legal concept and legal policy can be effective only in relation to a particular state in specific historical conditions. In this regard, selection of a particular model, or even a unique local variant of multiculturalism, is a crucially important issue.

The concept of multiculturalism can not be used to describe empirical social reality in isolation from the normative approach. Differentiation between the descriptive/the normative in multiculturalism is an expression of the classical dichotomy of being/ should be which is one of the basic categorical pairs in the philosophy of law and morality. Schematically the analyzed category can be shown 1) as an idea (what is due, should be) and 2) as the embodiment of this idea (being). Therefore, there is the idea of “multiculturalism” and, accordingly, there is a social reality which to some extent is the embodiment of this idea in life. From this point of view, the descriptive approach should be considered only in the context of implementation of the normative approach, but in no way separately or even in conjunction with the latter. For its part, the need for the attention to the normative aspects of multiculturalism, to “legal multiculturalism”, necessitates 

Keywords multiculturalism; minority rights; liberalism; communitarianism; liberal communitarianism



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