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Democracy, hierarchy, and culture in Quebec

Drawing on the debate about Quebec’s demand to be recognized as a distinct society within the Canadian federation, the article discusses the relationship between democracy and hierarchy. Differently from the claims usually associated with the modern notion of citizenship, Quebec’s demand is characterized by the affirmation of a unique identity that cannot be universalized and whose recognition is seen as a right. Within this framework, the lack of such recognition is taken as an act of inconsiderateness toward the citizen’s dignity or personhood. In associating the value of equality to the idea of uniformity, Canada stands as a good example of the modern difficulty of adequately treating citizens’ rights regarding identity or the dignity of the person.

recognition; right; Quebec; identity; culture

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