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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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Do multiculturalism policies erode the welfare state? An empirical analysis

Do multiculturalism policies erode the welfare state? An empirical analysis

(p.48) (p.49) 2 Do multiculturalism policies erode the welfare state? An empirical analysis
Multiculturalism and the Welfare State

Keith Banting (Contributor Webpage)

Richard Johnston (Contributor Webpage)

Will Kymlicka (Contributor Webpage)

Stuart Soroka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces a new framework for testing the recognition/redistribution hypothesis. It develops an index of twenty-three different types of MCPs that have been adopted for three different types of minority groups (immigrants, national minorities, and indigenous peoples). Western countries are then categorized in terms of their level of MCPs. Whether countries with higher levels of MCPs have faced an erosion of the welfare state as compared to countries with lower levels of MCPs is tested. It is shown that there is no negative correlation between the strength of a country's commitment to MCPs and its ability to sustain welfare spending or economic redistribution. The chapter also examines the heterogeneity/redistribution hypothesis, and shows that this too is overstated. In general, the size of immigrant groups, national minorities, and indigenous peoples in Western countries does not affect a country's ability to sustain its welfare commitments, although a rapid change in the size of immigrant groups does seem to have an effect. Yet even here, the authors of this chapter argue, there are hints that adopting MCPs can help to mitigate whatever negative effect a rapidly increasing immigrant population may have.

Keywords:   multiculturalism policies, recognition/redistribution hypothesis, immigrants, national minorities, indigenous peoples, Western countries, diversity, heterogeneity/redistribution hypothesis, welfare state, social policy

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