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Multiculturalism and the Welfare StateRecognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies$
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Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289172.001.0001

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Introduction Multiculturalism and the welfare state: Setting the context

Introduction Multiculturalism and the welfare state: Setting the context

(p.1) 1 Introduction Multiculturalism and the welfare state: Setting the context
Multiculturalism and the Welfare State

Keith Banting (Contributor Webpage)

Will Kymlicka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of two recent debates on the relationship between ethnic diversity, multiculturalism, and the welfare state. Some commentators argue that increasing levels of ethnic and racial heterogeneity make it difficult to sustain a welfare state (the ‘heterogeneity/redistribution trade-off’). This chapter reviews the evidence that has been emerged in previous research for both claims, which is shown to be inconclusive. There are many unanswered questions about the conditions under which the heterogeneity/redistribution and recognition/redistribution trade-offs may exist, about the causal mechanisms that underpin them, and about the possible strategies for reducing them. The subsequent chapters in this volume fill in some of these important gaps in our knowledge, drawing on cross-national statistical analyses, case studies, and theoretical reflections.

Keywords:   multiculturalism policies, racial diversity, ethnic diversity, heterogeneity, redistribution, welfare state, social policy

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