The Multicultural Backlash, “Illiberal” Liberalism and Ineffective Policy Making: An Analysis of Denmark’s Response to Arranged and Forced Marriage

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Title: The Multicultural Backlash, “Illiberal” Liberalism and Ineffective Policy Making: An Analysis of Denmark’s Response to Arranged and Forced Marriage
Authors: McCreary, Meredyth L
Date: 2012
Abstract: Immigration to western countries since the middle of the twentieth century has contributed to significant cultural and ethnic diversity. Understandably, diversity naturally introduces new and sometimes controversial practices, which challenge the norms and values adopted by the majority. One challenging practice being faced by western societies today is arranged and forced marriage, which conflicts with western ideas of marriage. Further, it is inconsistent with liberal understandings of gender equality and individual autonomy, which are fundamental principles in liberal democracies. In reaction to such practices certain European countries, particularly Denmark, have implemented or strengthened strict immigration laws designed to obstruct arranged and forced marriages. This paper argues that the recent anti-multicultural backlash has influenced shifts in immigration and integration policies across Europe. The paper also argues that the ways Denmark has attempted to stop arranged and forced marriage among ethnic minorities is problematic on two levels. First, from a theoretical perspective, while the laws are justified on the basis of upholding liberal values and traditions of western countries, they are also fundamentally undermining core liberal values of tolerance and inclusion. Second, from a policy perspective, Denmark’s efforts to reduce arranged and forced marriage and prevent violence against women by enforcing stricter immigration via family reunification laws is not necessarily preventing arranged and forced marriages or violence against women.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23871
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers
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