Liberalism is often described as a theory about the proper relationship between the individual and the state. But liberalism also contains a broader account of the relationship between the individual and society. Kymlicka here presents the liberal view about the nature and value of community culture in an unusually explicit and systematic way, and links it to more familiar liberal views on individual rights and state neutrality.
`Kymlicka has provided the best philosophical treatment of minority rights that I know of. His book deserves to be widely read and discussed.'
Canadian Philosophical Review
`an important defense of contemporary liberal theory from communitarian attacks Liberalism, Community, and Culture provides a provocative analysis of the place of cultural membership in liberal theory, as well as an excellent elaboration and defense of liberal principles.' Political Theory
From the hardback:
`This is a spirited attempt to square the liberal circle, and give groups a legitimate place in an individualistic moral ontology ... he has much of interest to say about the various elements in practicable policies of cultural pluralism ... Kymlicka, as a liberal, is to be commended for at least broaching a topic that may embarass even the collectivists of the left.'
David Archard, Radical Philosophy 57, Spring 1991
`This excellent book, while forming a perfectly coherent whole, fulfills two major purposes. It is a highly lucid and informed discussion - the most comprehensive yet - of the debate between liberals and communitarians, and defense of liberalism against both communitarian and Marxist critiques. It is also a very powerful liberal argument for the protection of the collective rights of minority cultures ... essential reading for political and legal theorists
and philosophers who are interested in real, urgent political issues.'
`a provocative analysis of the place of cultural membership in liberal theory, as well as an excellent elaboration and defense of liberal principles.'
American Political Science Review
`an ambitious and closely argued book. It engages with rigour and insight some of the central issues in the contemporary debate between liberals and communitarians ... I encourage anyone who is interested in political philosophy to read the book.'
`a sensitive and sustained exploration of the complex connections of liberal theory and practice with cultural membership in a plural society.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`a spirited attempt to square the liberal circle, and give groups a legitimate place within an individualistic ontology.'
`The argument is provocative and the book is full of interest. Kymlicka as a philosopher ... gives abstract arguments their full due, but takes up concrete issues with equal facility.'
Canadian Journal of Political Science
`excellent book ... Kymlicka has provided the best philosophical treatment of minority rights issues that I know of. His book deserves to be widely read and discussed.'
Canadian Philosophical Reviews
'An excellent starting point would be the ground-breaking work of the young Canadian political philosopher Professor Will Kymlicka, and particularly his seminal book Liberalism, Community, and Culture'
Peace River Block News, 21 February 1992
`Liberalism, Community, and Culture is a must-read for those interested in minority rights and current debates in political philosophy.'
Michael McDonald, University of Toronto Law Journal
`Will Kymlicka has written a penetrating, highly illuminating, and exceptionally lucid book in which he sets out a systematic liberal doctrine of the relation between the individual and the community that is possible within the pluralistic framework of modern societies. He defends the egalitarian liberalism of Rawls and Dworkin, reformulates this liberalism in places to render it more coherent in the face of challenges from critics of liberalism, and
extends it in new directions. This is a book that deserves to be taken seriously by both liberals and their critics.'
`full of very interesting arguments and analyses'
Charles Taylor, Critical Review
`The book is extremely well-organized and well-argued, and it is written with an admirable degree of commitment. It is an eloquent defence of liberalism. It effectively undermines most of the arguments of liberalism's communitarian critics, restating and interpreting them with a clarity and economy that these critics have seldom been able to achieve themselves ... It is a most welcome addition to the large and complex literature on liberalism, bringing
with a freshness or perspective and a sustained and passionate commitment to the cause of individual liberty.'
Australasian Journal of Philosophy
`Kymlicka's book is an important contribution to the liberal-communitarian debate.'
`Kymlicka scores some good points against communitarians such as Taylor and Sandel, and his argument is very energetic and clear ... a broad-ranging and energetic book which is an important contribution to the debate between liberals and communitarians.'
Margaret Moore, Nous
`This is an important contribution to recent liberal theory. Its convincing defense of liberalism against communitarian criticism is especially timely, and the conceptual tools that Kymlicka uses in the defense are welcome additions to liberalism's tool chest ... Kymlicka's book mounts an impressive defense of the liberal tradition of Mill, Rawls and Dworkin against communitarian and Marxist criticism. It sensitizes liberals to the need for a theory of
culture and provides them with some of the vocabulary needed to construct it.'
Canadian Journal of Philosophy
`Kymlicka has shown that there are political and sociological questions tied up with the social nature of the individual that liberal political philosophers cannot afford to ignore ... The significance of Kymlicka's book resides in this approach as much as in the high quality and sophistication of his arguments. For he illustrates the importance for political philosophers to grapple with genuine problems when honing their ideas and to question the
political systems within which their arguments are constructed and to which they have to be applied.'
History of European Idea
Introduction; LIBERALISM: Liberalism; The Right and the Good; COMMUNITY: Communitarianism and the Self; Taylor's `Social Thesis'; Marxism and the Critique of Justice; LIBERALISM AND CULTURAL MEMBERSHIP: Liberalism in Culturally Plural Societies; The Value of Cultural Membership; Equality for Minority Membership; Equality for Minority Cultures; Minority Rights and Liberal Tradition; Walzer and Minority Rights; Communitarianism and Minority Rights;
Apartheid in South Africa; Conclusion