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A False Dichotomy? The Unresolved Tension between Universal and Differentiated Citizenship in India


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  • Niraja Gopal Jayal
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    Group-differentiated citizenship has become a widely accepted way of addressing the dissatisfaction with difference-blind liberal universal accounts of citizenship. This article interprets Indian arguments for and against quotas, across the 20th century, in terms of a contest between the powerful rival claims of universalist and differentiated citizenship. The Indian experience, it argues, instantiates many of the normative complexities that theorists of group-differentiated citizenship have identified, in particular its implications for the construction of a civic community; the prospects of weakening social cohesion; and the difficulties of properly determining which groups are deserving of differentiated citizenship rights. The article offers an argument against positing universalist and group-differentiated citizenship in mutual opposition, a false dichotomy in a complex and diverse world.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 185-204

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:2:p:185-204

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