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Reviewed by:
  • The Art of the State III: Belonging? Diversity, Recognition, and Shared Citizenship in Canada
  • Glenda Bonifacio
Keith Banting, Thomas J. Courchene, and F. Leslie Seidle, eds. The Art of the State III: Belonging? Diversity, Recognition, and Shared Citizenship in Canada. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2007. 697 pp. Notes. $39.95 sc.

As a consequence of the historical processes of colonization, decolonization, and immigration now heightened by economic globalization, diversity is one of the foremost issues in many western liberal democracies like Canada. In Belonging? Diversity, Recognition, and Shared Citizenship in Canada, the contributors, all leading scholars in the area, present a rich exposition of the historical, philosophical, policy, and practical dimensions of issues affecting recent cohorts of immigrants, First Nation communities, and French-Canadians. Central to the discussion of the book is the intersection between the political recognition of diversity and the challenges of social integration and social cohesion in Canada as well as other multiethnic societies such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe.

The book is organized around five themes: approaches to diversity recognition and accommodation, indigenous peoples, international experiences, faith-based communities and diversity, and the participation and social cohesion of ethno-cultural communities (12). Each theme has lead chapters followed by commentaries, in [End Page 203] most cases, which allows for an expansive critique of major arguments raised in the chapters.

The first theme covers three chapters on Canadian approaches to recognizing and accommodating diversity by Will Kymlicka, Daniel Salee, and Katherine A.H. Graham and Susan Phillips. Kymlicka explores the three diversity silos (i.e., immigrant/ethnic groups, Aboriginal peoples, and Francophones/Quebecois) and their development in Canada within a liberal framework, analyzes the federal policies of accommodation, and offers ways of evaluating the management of diversity now and in the future. In their separate commentaries on Kymlicka's article, Roy McMurty and Yasmeen Abu-Laban expound on the distinct challenges faced by each diversity silo. In particular, the notion of shared citizenship is undermined according to McMurty, by racial profiling and access to the justice system (87) and, for Abu-Laban, by the gender-specific illiberal practices of certain communities, and the often missed connections between the exercise of social and political power in the processes of racialization. Salee documents the "ambiguous record" (105) of diversity management in Quebec under its preferred model of interculturalism and the distinct policy outcomes and effects mainly on Afrodescendants and Eurodescendants. Marie McAndrew points out the shortcomings of Salee's paper, such as omitting the different experiences of racialized minorities, and argues for the improved capacity of social integration among Quebecers since the 1990s. The responses and challenges of large urban governments to changing demographics are well stated by Graham and Phillips. David Ley explains the management of immigration and the spatial and geographical scales of diversity in his commentary.

On the second theme, indigenous peoples, two chapters focus on Canada and one on the Maoris in New Zealand. Evelyn Peters draws attention to the marginalization, spatial and economic, of First Nations and Metis people in urban areas and evaluates their culture's positive contribution to social change. While John Richards generally agrees with the arguments posed by Peters on Aboriginal migration to cities and the value of their cultural organizations in the transition process, he outlines his disagreement on the semantics of "poor neighborhood" and "ghetto". Joyce Green and Ian Peach urge the need for "destabilizing colonial assumptions" (265) embedded in democratic structures, practices, and processes to strive for social justice in the context of negotiations for self-government. The Maoris and the debates on diversity models in New Zealand in the last hundred years are discussed by Roger Maaka.

In France, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the issue of multiculturalism, immigrants' civic integration, and other policies relating to diversity remains politically charged, especially with the increase in security measures after 9/11. This theme on international experiences includes four chapters with no commentaries. Christian Joppke argues that the so-called nationalist [End Page 204] models of integration (i.e., multiculturalism in the Netherlands, assimilation in France, segregation in Germany) "no longer makes...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1913-8253
Print ISSN
0008-3496
Pages
pp. 203-206
Launched on MUSE
2010-08-18
Open Access
No
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