How Groups Matter
Challenges of Toleration in Pluralistic Societies
Edited by Gideon Calder, Magali Bessone, Federico Zuolo
Published May 15th 2013 by Routledge – 160 pages
When groups feature in political philosophy, it is usually in one of three contexts: the redressing of past or current injustices suffered by ethnic or cultural minorities; the nature and scope of group rights; and questions around how institutions are supposed to treat a certain specific identity/cultural/ethnic group. What is missing from these debates is a comprehensive analysis of groups as both agents and objects of social policies. While this has been subject to much scrutiny by sociologists and social psychologists, it has received less attention from a normative and philosophical point of view. This volume asks: what problems are posed to political philosophy by a collection of individuals who act or are treated in a collective way? Focusing not only on ways in which institutions should treat groups, but also on the normative implications of considering groups as possible social agents, when acting either in vertical relations with the state or in horizontal relations with other groups (or individuals), this book explores these issues from both theoretical and practical perspectives, combining questions about the nature of groups, and their social and political impacts, with the particular, pressing considerations to which such groups give rise.
Part 1. Situating Groups, Evaluating Group Rights
1. Representing Groups
2. Toleration, Groups, and Multiculturalism
3. Polyethnic Societies and the Rights of Groups
4. ‘States’ Rights as Group Rights: an Analytical Perspective
5. Toleration and Cultural Defence
6. Groups and Affirmative Action
Part 2. Groups in Practice: Constructed Identities, Specific Treatments and Legal Recognition
7. A European Issue of Toleration: Why Purpose-Built Mosques are so Contested
8. Sharing a Camp and a Label: The Social Construction of the Category of ‘Refugee’
9. The Roma Group: Issues of Normative Definition
10. The Emergence and Socio-Legal Regulation of Minority Religious Groups
Gideon Calder is Reader in Ethics and Social Philosophy at the University of Wales, Newport, UK.
Magali Bessone is Senior Lecturer at the University of Rennes 1, France.
Federico Zuolo is Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia and at the University of Pavia, Italy.