The democratization of the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been predominantly understood as a process concerning the institutionalization of political communities based on civic and political rights, and the rule of law. The rights-based programmes were not, however, the only political programmes that informed the overall horizon and specific aims of the political transformation of societies in CEE, as programmes invoking ethno-cultural traditions as a basis of social solidarity for the new political community emerged more or less simultaneously. It might then be argued that the political transformations of post-communist societies have to do with two significant markers for political identities and social integration: A rights-based and a culture-based one. The distinction is equally reflected in normative political theory, which is predominantly engaged with two major questions: How to achieve the equality of all and how to provide recognition of difference. Both 'liberal nationalism' and 'constitutional patriotism' engage with this tension, and convincingly show the limits of either a rights- or a culture-based approach. It can be argued, however, that both are ultimately incapable of fully solving the problematique of cultural plurality, and that further steps are needed. Such steps include a different conception of culture, and the need for a participatory, inter-cultural political culture, including a principle of inter-cultural dialogue.

Rights, identities and democracy in an enlarged European union

Blokker, Paul
2008

Abstract

The democratization of the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been predominantly understood as a process concerning the institutionalization of political communities based on civic and political rights, and the rule of law. The rights-based programmes were not, however, the only political programmes that informed the overall horizon and specific aims of the political transformation of societies in CEE, as programmes invoking ethno-cultural traditions as a basis of social solidarity for the new political community emerged more or less simultaneously. It might then be argued that the political transformations of post-communist societies have to do with two significant markers for political identities and social integration: A rights-based and a culture-based one. The distinction is equally reflected in normative political theory, which is predominantly engaged with two major questions: How to achieve the equality of all and how to provide recognition of difference. Both 'liberal nationalism' and 'constitutional patriotism' engage with this tension, and convincingly show the limits of either a rights- or a culture-based approach. It can be argued, however, that both are ultimately incapable of fully solving the problematique of cultural plurality, and that further steps are needed. Such steps include a different conception of culture, and the need for a participatory, inter-cultural political culture, including a principle of inter-cultural dialogue.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/676821
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