- 2006, Winner - Award for Cover Design, American Association of University Presses
What this analysis reveals is that when these debates become entangled with the question of Canadian unity, which they invariably have been, they become constrained by dichotomous thinking, produce political paralysis, and generate exclusion ... Of particular interest to constitutional and administration lawyers will be the discussion surrounding the constitutional deliberations at Meech Lake and Charlottetown, as well as the treatment of philosophical and political nature of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Kernerman's book is a good survey of the identity-citizenship-nationalism debates in Canada. Pithy summaries of the major theories and concepts informing the debates make this a useful introduction to the issues involved. The issues he addresses – of governing difference, of regulating divisiveness, of "creating" unity – are now central to the political cultures of many nations. As a reviewer from India, where the "unity in diversity" paradigm has been our governing political slogan even during the era of minoritarian, linguistic, and ethnic nationalisms and fragmentation, I appreciate Kernerman's attempts to chart a way between difference and unity, and between diversity and national integration.
This book will appeal greatly to those doing work in critical race theory, multiculturalism, and the politics of difference. Kernerman not only characterizes emerging arguments against what he calls the 'Canadian school' of liberal multiculturalism but advances these arguments via some keen work within and across liberalism, continental philosophy, and feminist theory.
Multicultural Nationalism makes an important contribution to debates about national unity and diversity in Canada. Kernerman persuasively shows how the problematic logic of thinking in terms of dichotomies is not only woven into the political and public debates but can also be detected in the theories of political philosophers such as Charles Taylor and Will Kymlicka.
1) Introduction: The Bind That Ties
2) Confounding Debates
3) Just Nationalism? Individual versus Collective Rights
4) Decoding Deep Diversity
5) Nationalism Disentangled: The New Treason of the Intellectuals
6) The Arithmetic of Canadian Citizenship
7) Misrepresenting the Canadian Conversation
8) Civil Eyes: Seeing "Difference Blind"
9) There’s No Place Like Home
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