A cultural defense of nations: A liberal theory of majority rights

Dr. Liav Orgad, IDC Herzliya Israel

The Cultural Defense of Nations project addresses  two simple but important questions: is the cultural continuity of majority groups a legitimate purpose to restrict immigration; and is the immigrant’s cultural background a legitimate criterion to restrict immigration? The changing patterns of contemporary immigration have motivated a new trend in liberal democracies: proactive immigration and naturalization policies designed to defend the culture of majority groups. This trend is fed by fears of immigration - some justified, some paranoid - which explain the rise of extreme right-wing parties in the West. The research project reveals a troubling trend in liberal states, which, ironically, in order to protect liberalism, violate the very same values, and presents a liberal theory of cultural defense that distinguishes between justifiable and unjustifiable attempts of majority groups to protect their culture. It constructs liberal standards by which majority groups can welcome immigrants without fundamentally changing their cultural heritage, forsaking their liberal traditions, or gliding into extreme nationalism.