Politica, Bind 30 (1998) 2


Jørgen Poulsen Multicultural Competency

Multicultural competency is the ability to live constructively together with others in a spirit of mutual respect in the face of culturally conditioned differences. The liberal tradition contains two forms of pluralism that might serve as a basis for the development of multicultural competency. National liberalism is a segregating pluralism. Mutual respect between different national cultures is based on mutual recognition of the supremacy of each culture within its own territory. Segregating pluralism articulates collective (national) rights. Liberalism also contains an integrating pluralism paradigmatically expressed in the doctrine of religious toleration. Integrating pluralism presupposes the mutual accommodation of differing world views so that they may coexist peacefully within the same political community. Cultural/religious differences are depoliticized through the formulation of a snared system of individual rights. Modem multicultural aspirations are notoriously difficult to handle within the liberal tradition because these aspirations appeal at one and the same time to segregating and integrating pluralism, collective and individual rights. It is not within the scope of liberalism to accommodate multicultural aspirations through the formulation of a consistent set of general rights. However, indirectly multicultural aspirations may be accommodated through the development of a political culture emphasizing multicultural competency as an important part of the civic competency ideally required of every citizen in a democracy.

Jennifer Jackson Preece Multiculturalism, Dignity and the Liberal State in Canada

Multicultural societies that contain voluntary ethnocultural associations raise important questions with regard to the state's role in conferring social dignity. In circumstances of majority hostility, such associations will only be entered into by individuals who possess exceptional courage and determination. The less robust will, in effect, be denied this freedom. This seems both unreasonable and unwarranted if something can be done to change it which does not sacrifice a value of equal importance. I argue that the political affirmation of dignity is integrative, entails no significant social or economic costs, and is not only the right but also the enlightened self-interested thing for a liberal state to do. That I suggest is the lesson to be learned from Canada's practice of multiculturalism.

Karin Borevi The Reformulation of Swedish Policy on Immigration and Integration

Compared with other nordic countries Sweden has a long experience of immigrant policy aiming at making easier the immigrants' integration to Swedish society. The immigrant policy was first formulated in the end of the 1960's as a response to the labour immigration of the time. Since then the question of immigrants, integration has been subject of many analysis, official reports and political debates. The article describes the formulation of the immigrant policy goals

Side 260

during three periods from the 1970's to the 19905. Special attention is given the changes that the Riksdag decided in December 1997.

Lise Togebv Danes' Attitudes towards Multiculturalism

The growing number of refugees and immigrants has caused renewed attention to the development towards multiculturalism, also in Denmark. The article analyses Danes' attitudes to the issue of nationality and to different aspects of immigration policy. The analysis compares distribution of attitudes, their interdependence and social underpinnings in Denmark with analyses of similar attitudes in the US, and the two countries are surprisingly similar. In both the US and Denmark, attitudes become more negative the closer we get to the core of multiculturalism, bur characteristically, Denmark reaches its theshold earlier then the US. The deman for assimilation is far more common in Denmark than in the US:

Søren Risbjerg Thomsen The Credibility of the Opinion Polls

A study of the opinion polls in the 1998 national election campaign and of the monthly polls 1990-98 shows a remarkable agreement between the different private polling organisations and good stability from one month to the next. This is explained by the fact that all organisations are skilled in measuring party support among those voters who have decided their position. The organisations Gallup, GfK and Sonar are probably better in this respect than Vilstrup and

Greens, who can be criticised for their sampling procedures. Sometimes the undecided voters can make it difficult to predict the outcome of the election, which was the case in 1998. In the 1990'5, GfK and Gallup were most successful in predicting the national election results. An average across the measurements of all five organisations is probably as good as GfK and Gallup in predicting election outcomes and more stable from one month to the next.

Carsten Bagge Laustsen The "Normality" of Nazism

This essay takes the discussion between the functionalist (Bauman) and intentionalist (Goldhagen) approach to the study of nazism as its point of departure. A third approach is proposed arguing that nazism can only be understood taking into account antisemitism as a widely spread German phenomenon. I also claim that this specific phenomenon devives its popularity from being linked to widely shared human inclinations. Using a psychoanalytically informed critique of ideology, he essay attempts to uncover the nazi economy of desire as consisting of four interrelated phantasms. These are the phantasy of the profet (Hitler) listening to the voice of God; the phantasy of the mass becoming a unity through identification with the body and words of the "Fu'hrer"; the phantasy of the Germanic man becoming a "Folk" through mythical life; and finally the phantasy of the Aryon, who by sacrificing the Jew enables his own nature to unfold.

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