Text topic: Culture and Democracy - 50 Years of the Review Kultura
Text author: Јелена Петковић
The lives of people are less and less nationally and spatially limited today and multiculturality has become a factual reality and a crucial determinant of the contemporary post-industrial societies. This paper aims to highlight the division of scientific discourses about the cultural pluralism and the desirable ways of organizing existing multiculturality in the contemporary societies, through analysis of the relationship between liberalism and multiculturalism, cultural relativism and the universality of human rights and freedoms. It is being considered whether the cultural theory today is in danger of simplifying plurality, diversity and hybridity, as well as whether the universality and the indivisibility of human rights “suffer” from marginalization or absolutization of their cultural context. Also, a critical review was given of the experiences of various countries in pursuing the policy of multiculturalism and interculturalism, in order to point out the significant variations in evaluating what the cultural democracy is and how far individual countries are willing to go to reach this goal. General conclusion is that, in everyday practices of achieving and disputing democracy, the cultural rights and freedoms are more verbally advocated and normatively grounded than practically realized. The current migrant crisis intensifies islamophobia and ethnocentrism, which additionally aggravates legal and political regulation of cultural diversity in certain countries and sometimes even facilitates and justifies political advocacy of the complete abandonment of the concept of multiculturalism. It is necessary to invest a lot of effort to overcome all the limitations and inconsistencies of the previous multicultural policies and, in accordance with the specifics of their own multicultural reality, to search for more desirable ways of organizing the existing cultural diversity, for the sake of achieving more equitable, inclusive and stable democratic societies.