Informations and abstract
One of the most controversial question liberal democracies are facing today concerns the way they politically integrate groups (ethnic, national, or social) which claim the political recognition of their cultural identity. According to the liberal model, the attribution of individual citizenship's rights is the best way to realize political integration. In opposition to this view, this paper argues that the notion of differentiated citinzenship can open up some interesting insights for approaching and resolving this problem. Multicultural societies face deep conflicts of recognition between actors advocating different (and often conflictual) loyalties. These dynamics call into question the liberal ideal of citizenship as the neutral attribution of a common and legal status. In this perspective, the recognition of formal equality of all citizens is the mean to promote self-respect and self-esteem among all citizens. This view is partially misleading. In some cases, it is not through the reaffirmation of equal recognition that it is possible to re-integrate marginalized cultural groups. Sometimes, political recognition (namely some forms of cultural rights) of differences among citizens represents an important step to improve the self respect of members of such groups. Respect and self-respect are crucial preconditions to realize a fair citizenship. And only a fair citizenship can support a genuine and legitimate representative democracy in culturally divided societies.