As a result of the arrival of migrants and refugees over the last few years, most Western European societies have become multicultural societies. The conceptions of the good and the ways of life of ethnic minorities are sometimes at odds with the dominant ones, for example the so-called hijab-affair or the discussion within the Netherlands on the admissibility of female circumcision. Recently there has been significant coverage in the Dutch media concerning two other issues: the wearing of a turban by a Sikh in the Amstelhotel in Amsterdam in pursuance of his job as a cleaner and the debate in some of the quality papers of the Netherlands on the harmfulness of male circumcision.

Author Bio(s)

Marlies Galenkamp is currently Lecturer in legal philosophy in the Department of Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In 1993 she defended her PhD Thesis Individualism versus Collectivism: The Concept of Collective Rights (a new edition is in press). Her current research centers around themes such as multiculturalism, ethnic and religious minorities and group identities within liberal democracies.


Chandran Kukathas, communitarian, group identity, human rights, individual autonomy, liberal democracies, minority groups, tolerance

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.