Going beyond toleration? Should liberal-democratic states also recognize collective identities?
The principle of tolerance finds its origins in 16th century Europe in an effort to overcome religious wars between different Christian denominations, that were at the time ravaging the continent. The concept of tolerance and the practice of toleration remain relevant to this day in the quest for accommodating diversity within European societies. Some may argue that tolerance is ethically minimalist but politically expedient. Others may argue that we need to go beyond tolerance to accommodate diversity, we need to speak of respect and recognition of both individual and collective forms of diversity. Anna Galeotti among others argues that tolerance does not only involve minimal toleration of the kind 'live and let live' even if you disapprove. But that there are also more advanced forms of egalitarian, 'thick' tolerance that require changing the public space to make 'room' for minorities and their special claims or needs.
It is in this context that two well-known political theorists, Prof. Tariq Modood (University of Bristol) and Prof. Marcel Maussen (University of Amsterdam) engage in a constructive dialogue on whether and how we should go beyond toleration in liberal democratic states.
Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy and the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. He has held over 40 grants and consultancies (UK, European and US), has over 30 (co-)authored and (co-)edited books and reports and over a hundred articles or chapters in political philosophy, sociology and public policy. He is a regular contributor to the media and policy debates in Britain, was awarded a MBE for services to social sciences and ethnic relations in 2001 and elected a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004. He served on the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, the IPPR Commission on National Security and on the National Equality Panel, which reported to the UK Deputy Prime Minister in 2010.
Marcel Maussen studied political science and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and in Aix-en-Provence and Paris. He obtained a PhD in 2009 at the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research with a thesis on public debates on mosque building in France and The Netherlands. Marcel Maussen is now Assistant Professor inthe Department of Political Science and at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include the governance of religious and ethnic pluralism, contemporary political theory and Islam in Western Europe.
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