International Relations and the Policy of Multiculturalism in Nations
The idea of ‘nation state’ shares its origins to the times when the idea of the state emerged.
However, in the sixteenth century, a new notion of state, popularly known as the Westphalian
model emerged. The model was essentially based on the assimilation of subjects on the basis
of linguistic and ethnic commonalities, thus completely shunning the idea of pluralism and
As times progressed, laws of International governance were formulated following industrial
revolution and subsequent interlinkages among the world economies. However, the formal
codification only took place after the World War II. This is where the concept of
multiculturalism took prominence replacing older forms of ethnic and racial hierarchy with
new relations of democratic citizenship.
In common terminology, multiculturalism could be defined as formulation of policies that
comprise legal and political accommodation of ethnic diversity. Any discussion on
contentious issues of ethnicity, identity and public policy inevitably raises challenging
questions that requires cautious debate and public deliberation. Sometimes such debates
could be well informed, and at times maligned with myths and prejudices. It is, thus equally
important to identify these and filter out the facts from them.
Aims and Objectives of Research
1. To understand the historical context in which multiculturalism emerged as state’s
policy and how has it evolved over the times in different parts of the world. The
classic literature on multiculturalism includes writings by Will Kymlicka, Bhiku
Parekh, Catriona Mckinnon, Arjun Appadurai etc. All these are crucial in order to
understand the fundamentals of the concept.
2. A crucial aim of my research would be to identify common myths about
multiculturalism, both from the state and people’s perspective and further examine the
factors that lead to such myths.
3. Again through my previous argument, I’d attempt to draw linkages between Religion
and Multiculturalism, particularly Islam, in the light of events like Arab Uprisings and
the rise of Muslim Brotherhood, and their global interactions with the leading
economies of the world.
4. Also in order to examine the inadequacies of the Multiculturalism Policies (MCP) at
the country level, I aim to demonstrate them by drawing a comparative picture of the
of the contemporary political realities of the one of the most troubled states of the
country, i.e. Kashmir with the rest of the mainland. Having spent some time in
Kashmir in my personal capacity as well as professionally, I’d be able to substantiate
my arguments through primary sources as well.
5. From South Asian perspective, through historical instances, I’d attempt to reassert the
need for the states to adopt more tolerant policies towards the minorities, keeping in
mind the volatile political condition and the porous borders that incessantly affect the
politics of the region.