Diversity and Democracy

The central focus is the question of how liberal democratic principles and practices adapt to an increasingly diverse population. The questions of citizenship and membership that flow from this agenda are both descriptive and normative, and touch on the formation and fragmentation of personal and communal identities by which "we" and "they" are created, the disputes about the categorization of groups and the allocation of rights and benefits to such groups (based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin or legal status), and the participation of all individuals and groups in civic and political life. These questions demand the interdisciplinary efforts of philosophers, social scientists, and legal scholars, of faculty who will collectively cover the following five areas:

  1. the normative question of whether liberal democracy or alternative political theories can accommodate diversity and difference;
  2. the legal frameworks within which questions of citizenship, rights, and representation are negotiated;
  3. the social and political processes by which identities are formed and reconfigured;
  4. the involvement of diverse communities in pluralist and contentious politics;
  5. the incorporation of diverse communities in local and transnational civil society.

Faculty Members