Multiculturalism has been one of the dominant concerns in political theory over the last decade. To date, this inquiry has been mostly informed by, or applied to, the Canadian, American, and increasingly, the European contexts. This volume explores for the first time how the Australian experience both relates and contributes to political thought on multiculturalism. Focusing on whether a multicultural regime undermines political integration, social solidarity, and national identity, the authors draw on the Australian case to critically examine the challenges, possibilities, and limits of multiculturalism as a governing idea in liberal democracies. These essays by distinguished Australian scholars variously treat the relation between liberalism and diversity, democracy and diversity, culture and rights, and evaluate whether Australia’s thirty-year experiment in liberal multiculturalism should be viewed as a successful model.
Geoffrey Brahm Levey teaches political theory at the University of New South Wales, where he was founding director of the Program in Jewish Studies from 1996 to 2005. His recent publications include two co-edited books, Secularism, religion and multicultural citizenship (with Tariq Modood, 2008) and Jews and Australian politics (with Philip Mendes, 2004).