A culture of diversity

Date published: 2008-08-28 2:56:35 PM

Will Kymlicka has spent most of his career thinking and writing about how culturally diverse democracies function. One of Canada’s leading political philosophers, he was the first in the mid-1980s to offer a philosophical exposition and defence of the idea that you could even have such a thing as a truly liberal theory of minority rights—one that is based on values of individual freedom and human rights.

Today, society has become accustomed to the notion; indeed, much of Canada’s interaction with its cultural minorities accords with Kymlicka’s thinking on the subject. As such, his work has profoundly influenced the way governments and courts in Canada regard issues of multiculturalism.

Kymlicka has also served as an advisor to the Canadian government on domestic multiculturalism policy and with international organizations on how other countries can deal with their issues of diversity.

Will Kymlicka, political philosophy, Queen’s University