What is Pluralism?

Pluralism is not simply diversity. Pluralism is a principle of respect for human diversity. A commitment to pluralism requires that diversity is protected and valued. Human differences become understood as a source of common good and an engine of social and economic innovation.

Diversity is not a burden to be endured, but an opportunity to be welcomed.

His Highness the Aga Khan

Harvard University, November 2015

In pluralist societies, every person is valued and included as an equal member, regardless of ethnic, religious, gender or socio-cultural differences. This is the result of continued and deliberate choices and actions by individuals, civil society organizations, governments and businesses to promote respect, recognition and belonging.

Pluralism results when a society actively reorients its political, social, economic and educational systems to recognize and secure the equality of every person as a citizen. Pluralism does not erase human differences.

A wide range of disciplines are involved in promoting pluralism including legal reform, human rights, democracy promotion, social cohesion, diversity and inclusion, education, ethnic relations, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, migration and integration, etc. 

Click here for more information on how the Centre understands pluralism.

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