Taking intolerant liberalism seriously
in Tolerance and diversity in Ireland, North and South
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This chapter considers recent manifestations of intolerance that claim a liberal inheritance. Contemporary liberal intolerance draws upon the kind of ethnocentric liberalism elaborated on a philosophical basis by Richard Rorty. But independent, practical forms emerged after the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001 and in the anti-multiculturalism that gained ground in Europe following the murder of Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands. The chapter draws on Dutch and Irish examples of ethnocentric liberalism, and considers why ethnocentric liberal prejudice towards Muslims was widely condoned in the former but has not been in Ireland, where, in contrast, he identifies anti-Traveller prejudice as an example of this kind of ethnocentric liberalism, and an expression of modern social rules of belonging in the nation-state.


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