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Pluralism and liberalism:reading the Indian Constitution as a philosophical document for Constitutional Patriotism

Ram-Prasad, Chakravarthi (2013) Pluralism and liberalism:reading the Indian Constitution as a philosophical document for Constitutional Patriotism. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 16 (5). pp. 676-697. ISSN 1369-8230

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Abstract

Liberalism and pluralism are seen as being in tension in liberal Western nation-states, while multiculturalism, as a policy of resource-allocation to minority groups, has been the standard response to pluralisation. This limits the pluralist potential of a constitutional liberalism. The fusion of a liberal theory of autonomous individuality with a pluralist theory of multiple belonging has to look beyond multicultural policy in order to enhance liberal commitments to citizens through pluralist provisions. An analysis of the Indian Constitution’s Fundamental Rights, as a normative document, shows that the citizen can be understood as an autonomous individual given identity through belonging to a plurality of groups. Consequently, rights are taken to accrue to all citizens equally as autonomous individuals, but also by virtue of their belonging to groups, with special provisions made available for vulnerable ones. Rights for a plurality of vulnerable groups should not be seen as illiberal additions but integral to the conception of liberalism. If such a view of citizenship were to be integrated into the liberal constitutions of irreversibly pluralizing Western democracies, then a pluralistic constitutional patriotism could be fostered amongst members of vulnerable groups, while demonstrating that standard liberal rights guarantee equal citizenship for all.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords: liberalism ; pluralism ; Indian Constitution ; constitutional patriotism ; fundamental rights
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 55389
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2012 12:05
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2013 09:23
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/55389

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