Kymlicka’s Arguement for the Link Between Freedom and Culture in his Work Multicultural Citizenship

Kymlicka’s Arguement for the Link Between Freedom and Culture in his Work Multicultural Citizenship

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A main point and perhaps the premise of Kymlicka’s argument in a few words is that ‘Freedom is linked to culture’. His argument was that in order to truly consider ourselves free, we have to belong to a culture. In particular, Kymlicka argues in favour of minority rights, his argument therefore centres on the point that understanding and making sure minority groups continue to exist stands in accordance with liberal thought on justice and can be a factor in enlarging the freedom of individuals. Kymlicka then uses the works of the likes of Ronald Dworkin, John Stuart Mill and John Rawls to support his argument. (Triadafilopoulos, 1997, p. 267) While it is important to note that Kymlicka’s argument is valuable especially in terms of his scope and clarity and especially in the fact that the principles outlined in his work has helped in the greater understanding of the problems of cultural, ethnic and racial conflict, Kymlicka’s argument also falls short of being compelling in certain areas. Kymlicka fails to cater for the implications his initial arguments create, for instance he neglects to specifically address what institutional protection should be given to minority rights. (McDonald, 1996, p. 293) However, Kymlicka is the first to admit that his argument has grey areas. Nevertheless, he makes a persuasive argument on the reasons why members of a national minority need access to their own culture.
PART 1 – OVERVIEW ON KYMLICKA’S ARGUMENT
It is important to understand first, Kymlicka’s take on multiculturalism in order to have a clear grasp on Kymlicka’s claim for the need for national minorities to have access to their cultures. In his book, Multicultural Citizenship, national culture is a central concept, used interchangeably wi...


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...that provide national group rights (securing societal cultures) are more liberal than those that do not’. She then states that ‘his conclusion (D) rests on the arguments A-C, of which A is uncertain and B and C are dubious at best’. She argues that Kymlicka’s arguments also seems to go in circular motion, with the conclusion ending at his starting point. For instance, his starting point is essentially his conclusion that liberalism and nationalism and compatible, driving his argument forward on the support of his conclusion, he drives his claims back again to where he started.
Despite this, Kymlicka’s argument remains significant and highly influential as he provides the framework for liberal thought on minority rights. He brings to the table several issues previously overlooked by other political theorists and there still remain several strengths to his argument.

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