The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights

ISBN : 9780198806912

Liav Orgad
304 ページ
156 x 234 mm
Oxford Constitutional Theory

Never in human history has so much attention been paid to human movement. Global migration yields demographic shifts of historical significance, profoundly shaking up world politics as has been seen in the refugee crisis, the Brexit referendum, and the 2016 US election. The Cultural Defense of Nations addresses one of the greatest challenges facing liberalism today: is a liberal state justified in restricting immigration and access to citizenship in order to protect its majority culture? Liberal theorists and human rights advocates recognize the rights of minorities to maintain their unique cultural identity, but assume that majorities have neither a need for similar rights nor a moral ground for defending them. The majority culture, so the argument goes, "can take care of itself." However, with more than 250 million immigrants worldwide, majority groups increasingly seek to protect what they consider to be their national identity. In recent years, liberal democracies have introduced proactive immigration and citizenship policies that are designed to defend the majority culture. This book shifts the focus from the prevailing discussion of cultural minority rights, for the first time directly addressing the cultural rights of majorities. It proposes a new approach by which liberal democracies can welcome immigrants without fundamentally changing their cultural heritage, forsaking their liberal traditions, or slipping into extreme nationalism. Disregarding the topic of cultural majority rights is not only theoretically wrong, but also politically unwise. With forms of "majority nationalism" rising and the growing popularity of extreme right-wing parties in the West, the time has come to liberally address contemporary challenges.


Introduction: Citizen Makers
Part I: Before the Majority Becomes the Minority
1 New Challenge
2 Demographic Anxiety
3 Cultural Defense
Part II: Legitimate and Illegitimate Defense
4 Illiberal Liberalism
5 Majority Rights
6 National Constitutionalism
Conclusion: Immigration Policy and Constitutional Identity


Liav Orgad is the head of the Global Citizenship Law research group at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center; a part-time professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, the European University Institute (EUI); associate professor at the Lauder School of Government, IDC Herzliya; and a member of the Global Young Academy. He is the recipient of the European Research Council Starting Grant. In recent years, Orgad was a fellow at the Harvard University Center for Ethics, a visiting professor at Columbia Law School and FGV Direito Rio, a Marie Curie Fellow at Freie Universitat Berlin, a Fulbright Scholar at NYU Law School, and a Jean-Monnet Fellow at the EUI. He specializes in constitutional identity, international jurisprudence, citizenship theory, and global migration.