Problems regarding the constitutionalization of multiculturalism: An anthropological perspective. Part one: On "preserving" the identity

  • Miloš Milenković Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Constitution, culture, identity, anthropology of public policies, anthropology of multiculturalism, law as an instrument of cultural change


In this article, from an anti-essentialist and anti-primordial view of normal science in anthropology, argumentation is being developed against an essentialist foundation of multiculturalism, as an imprudent legal transplant and as a mode of developing/survival of ethnocratic professionalizing of ethnicity and identity politics, through the example of a symptomatic article 64 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. The Constitution radicalizes multicultural policies, treating ethnic, confessional and other contingent arrangements as natural kinds. Treating the cultural-historic categories, for example, ethnicity or religious identity as natural kinds in public policies like the Constitution, leads to a situation where the contingent, interactive arrangements in the cultural reality receive an aureole of a given, indifferent and permanent states, which potentially generates and deepens social conflicts which it intends to absorb, forestall or regulate. After referring to the proven comparatively-historic contraindicated aspects of multicultural policies and a shorter analysis of the above mentioned example, the author argues for deepening of the productive interdisciplinary cooperation of professional jurists, professional anthropologists and other experts in the fields of social sciences and humanisties, in a mutual effort for further de-primordialisation and de-essentialisation of public policies in Serbia.


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How to Cite
Milenković, Miloš. 2008. “Problems Regarding the Constitutionalization of Multiculturalism: An Anthropological Perspective. Part One: On "preserving" The Identity”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 3 (2), 45-57.

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