The contemporary debate between liberalism and multiculturalism is often cast in the mould of a conflict between the rights of individuals and the cultural claims of groups. In modern liberal democracies, the state has to negotiate between these two frequently incompatible claims, and formulate policy and legislation in such a way that is both sensitive to the claims of groups, while still protecting the rights of vulnerable persons, in particular women and children, within those groups.
About the Author
Dr Kristina A. Bentley has an MA in political theory from Rhodes University and completed a PhD in the department of government at the University of Manchester in 2001. From 19961998, Dr Bentley was a lecturer in political theory in the Department of Political Studies and International Relations at Rhodes University. Her areas of research interest are theories and concepts of rights, the rights of vulnerable persons, rights and multiculturalism, and the enforceability of social and economic rights. Her publications include the entry, Civil Rights in the Readers guide to Social Science (Fitzroy-Dearborn 2001) and an article in Sapientia (September 2000) on Suggesting a separate approach to utility and rights: Deontological specification and teleological enforcement of human rights. She was awarded the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Research Grant in 19982001 and the Norman Chester Fund Award in 2001.