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Title: Exploring pluralism: secularism and liberalism in the United Kingdom
Author: Ahmad, Khairil Izamin Bin
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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Against the dominance of liberal political theory in accounting for the challenge of pluralism, this thesis aims to provide a more adequate alternative. Focusing on religious identification and demands, it is argued that the liberal response, because it takes secular thinking as unproblematic when considering what role citizens with 1 religious affiliation can play in the democratic public sphere, fails to develop an account of democratic pol itics that allows for the visibility of religious citizens in public life in a non-exclusive fashion. It focuses too heavily on looking for ways to control the terms that govern democratic exchanges in the plural polity, and pays li ttle attention to invest on ways that would allow for a pluralism that is dynamic and fluid. An alternative conception of pluralism is then set out, based on the work of William E. Connolly. It projects a vIsion towards the attainment of a deep and multidimensionaJly plural society, where diverse but intersecting constituencies 1 inhabit the democratic public sphere. The arguments in the thesis are supponed by three cases-in-point. The example of successive UK governments' attempt at nationbui lding, where they affinn to the value of the plural society but insist on a consensus anchored by 'British values' is fleshed out to show how the liberal shortcomings can transpire in practice. Rowan Williams' sharia law lecture, in which he argues for the public recognition of aspects of the Islamic sharia law in Britain, serves as an example to show how religious demands may go beyond the limits of the secular liberal VISIOn. The alternative vision that is defended in the thesis is supported by drawing lessons from the theory of legal pluralism, to show how religious belongings and institutions are of importance to religious citizens, by drawing insights UK Muslim legal practices that function without state recognition, and a case is made on why ir is important that minority legal norms are given due public recognition. 'I
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available