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Democracy, Multiculturalism and Pluralism



For more than four decades, multiculturalism has been one of the highly debated topics of politics. This course aims to explore the dimensions of multiculturalism, both by examining the arguments of the theories that justify multiculturalism on different grounds as well as specific topics that multiculturalism focuses on. The first week starts with the analysis of the contextual background of the debates on multiculturalism and introduces the questions that theories of multiculturalism aim to answer. The second week investigates the features of the arguments that justify multiculturalism. Moreover, various justifications such as liberal, communitarian, republican and post-colonial are briefly examined. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth weeks concentrate on a variety of topics such as citizenship, cultural and group rights, secularism and offensive speech, which are issues that multiculturalism aims to address. Lastly, criticisms of multiculturalism from a variety of theoretical positions are examined.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, the students;

  • will have gained a deeper knowledge on the meaning and dimensions of the concept of democracy in the contemporary age.

  • will have developed a better insight on the relation between multiculturalism and democracy.

  • will have developed their knowledge on contemporary debates in political theory.

  • will have improved their analytical skills in textual interpretation of theoretical texts in contemporary political philosophy.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, student presentations and discussions

Assessment method

Two take home essays, one presentation
1st Essay: Students are required to write a 1500-2000 words essay that answers one of their chosen question from a set of questions
2nd Essay: Students are required to write a 2000 -2500 words essay on their chosen topic within the scope of the course.
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average (%40 1st essay, %40 2nd essay, %10 presentation and %10 participation)

Reading List

See the course syllabus on Brightspace for all literature.


See tab 'Practical Information'.




Devrim Kabasakal Badamchi


There can be a re-sit exam (make up essay) for the students who have legitimate excuses to miss the exam according to the rules and conduct of Leiden University.