Postcolonial Liberalism presents a compelling account of the challenges to liberal political theory by claims to cultural and political autonomy and land rights made by indigenous peoples today. It also confronts the sensitive issue of how liberalism has been used to justify and legitimate colonialism. Ivison argues that there is a pressing need to re-shape liberal thought to become more receptive to indigenous aspirations and modes of being. What is distinctive about the book is the middle way it charts between separatism, on the one hand, and assimilation, on the other. These two options present a false dichotomy as to what might constitute a genuinely postcolonial liberal society. In defending this ideal, the book addresses important recent debates over the nature of public reason, justice in multicultural and multinational societies, collective responsibility for the past, and clashes between individual and group rights. Duncan Ivison teaches in the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney. He is the author of The Self at Liberty (1997) and co-editor of Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2000).
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