Comparing Modernities: Pluralism Versus Homogenity. Essays by Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Yitzak Sternberg

By Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Yitzak Sternberg

The authors of this quantity discover the tensions and dilemmas that impression pluralism and homogeneity in glossy societies. this can be the 1st paintings during this box within which the body of dialogue is a comparative civilizational research. It makes a speciality of matters which are on the center of the modern human adventure and tradition. The members to this publication, well known students from around the world, take on those concerns via bearing on various temporal and spatial settings. This booklet is in homage to Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt. We honor his ground-breaking paintings within the comparative research of modernities and civilizations.

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Additional info for Comparing Modernities: Pluralism Versus Homogenity. Essays in Homage to Shmuel N. Eisenstadt (International Comparative Social Studies 10)

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These processes involve today, it is the author’s basic contention, a periphery that is active and displays new imagined introduction 21 worlds. From it run cultural counter-flows to the center, creating liminal spaces where one finds cosmopolitanism and openness to other cultures, together with conflictual drives and motivations visà-vis the political class. It is at this point that Allardt steps in by emphasizing the importance of core values and cultural programs as the essentials of an all-modernity consensus.

Such processes, however, are by no means unrelated to the viewpoint characterizing the societal center that may either encourage or on the contrary hamper processes leading to homogeneity. In this latter case, it is that which supports, from the “above”, the retention, nay even institutionalization, of pluralism regarding at least, some of the groups in presence. This stance of the stronger party of the scene is the primary factor in laying down the “rules of the game”. On the ground of its representation of society’s historical and cultural personality—and of course, under the influence of the interests of those who support its policies—, this party may combine, in different possible manners, universal values—such as freedom or equality—with particularistic outlooks, and specify in varying terms rules of the pluralism-homogeneity dilemma, such as the exclusiveness or accessibility of membership; regulations of—economic, political, or other—participatory rights; or entitlements to prominent positions (see Almond and Verba, 1963; Znaniecki, 1973).

In a different context, Tambiah focuses on the Hindu-Muslim divide that is kept on the boil by the Kashmir dispute. Ever since 1947, ideologists of Hindu nationalism view the Muslims in India as the enemy within, and Pakistan’s Muslims as the enemy without. This conflict has its genesis in colonial late nineteenth century, and subsequently in post-independence nation-state making, in a plural democratic society dominated by majority politics marginalizing minorities. Although India was greatly affected by Islamic incursions and conquests, and the conflict endured over a long period, there is no tradition of contrasting antithetically Muslim and Hindu polities and religious systems.

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