Liberal justice vs. local norms: On the importance of heterogeneity within illiberal communities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The problem of illiberal communities3 within democratic states is a thorny one.4 Liberal political theorists have suggested a variety of positions when faced with such communities; from toleration5 to women’s rights, 6 to cultural relativism.7 This chapter aims to offer a philosophical, sociological framework as a partial solution to this problem. The basic idea of the framework is rather simple (although its implications admittedly involve several complicated issues). I shall argue that sufficient attention given to inner community heterogeneity is probably the key to some of the difficult problems regarding the liberal approach to illiberal communities, since some occurrences within these communities converge with liberal expectations and hopes. I shall illustrate this approach by examining some current occurrences within the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel, and some other examples.8.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlurality and Citizenship in Israel
Subtitle of host publicationMoving Beyond the Jewish/Palestinian Civil Divide
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135239701
ISBN (Print)9780415557764
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 editorial selection and matter, Dan Avnon and Yotam Benziman; individual chapters, the contributors.


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