French Republicanism and Pluralism:
Can they co-exist?
Publication Date: March 2018
As in other parts of Europe, in France, growing ethnocultural diversity has triggered intense debates over national identity. Focused mainly on the integration of Muslim populations, these debates have hinged on the centrality of secularism and undifferentiated citizenship to historic conceptions of the French state. Some critics argue that rigid interpretations of republican ideology create artificial barriers to Muslim integration and foreclose many policy tools that might otherwise promote a more inclusive citizenship. But others contend that the republican tradition itself offers resources for respecting pluralism. In relation to the goals of pluralism, just how flexible is the French republican tradition? Is “pluralist republicanism” possible?