Pluralising national identities: lessons from theory

Nasar Meer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The fact of pluralism, to borrow a phrase from the philosopher John Rawls, emerges as self evident in a world comprising nearly seven thousand languages, five hundred ethno-cultural groups, and innumerable religions spread across nearly two hundred recognised sovereign states. By definition, therefore, pluralism is an inescapable feature of human societies, and ‘can neither be wished out of existence nor suppressed without an unacceptable degree of coercion, and often not even then’ (Parekh 2000, 196). National identities have long struggled with reconciling cultural pluralism with an idea of collective membership. In one respect this is odd because the intermingling of cultural (including religious and ethnic) diversity is as old as recorded history. On the other hand, it may well be anticipated that unsettling established social and identity configurations creates challenges, something that is no less apparent in modern polities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSense of Belonging in a Diverse Britain
    Subtitle of host publicationWorkshop Proceedings
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • national identity
    • British identities
    • pluralism


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