Title: Democratic citizenship and the limits to immigrants' multicultural exercise of fundamental rights in public spaces: the case of Spain

Authors: Benito Aláez Corral

Addresses: Departamento de Derecho Público, University of Oviedo, Campus de El Cristo, Oviedo-33006, Spain

Abstract: The following paper deals with the well-known issues of citizenship and multiculturalism from the point of view of democratic constitutional law. It is argued that democratic citizenship plays a role as a promoter of and at the same time as a source of limitations on the development of multiculturalism. On the one hand, the democratisation of citizenship makes it the proper constitutional tool for enhancing multiculturalism through its culturally open safeguarding of fundamental rights. But on the other hand, the need to preserve the democratic (but still mostly national) character of citizenship implies a certain limitation of the scope of multiculturalism in four different ways: the liberal democratic understanding of fundamental rights that flows from constitutional texts; the provision of compulsory civic-democratic education in schools; the political and cultural requirements established for naturalisation; and finally the definition of the fundamental rights agenda by the cultural majority that is embodied in a democratic framework of government.

Keywords: constitutional law; democracy; democratic citizenship; nationality; right to education; multiculturalism; fundamental rights; naturalisation; constitutional democracy; immigrants; public spaces; Spain; constitutional texts; civic-democratic education; schools; naturalisation; culture; cultural majority; government framework.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2016.079637

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2016 Vol.4 No.3, pp.199 - 219

Received: 07 Apr 2016
Accepted: 11 May 2016

Published online: 06 Oct 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article