Anthony Mihalopoulos is a PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School. He draws from research in the interdisciplinary fields of law, politics, philosophy and history to articulate ways that can resolve current cultural or faith-based issues that face members of ethnocultural groups in liberal democratic societies.
Anthony holds a Master of Laws degree from the Melbourne Law School, a Bachelor of Laws degree from ANU and a Social Sciences Degree from La-Trobe University.
Imagining new modes of cultural co-existence for indigenous peoples and ethnocultural groups in Australia: an interdisciplinary study
This thesis adopts Will Kymlicka’s political theory construct that societal culture is a horizon through which members of ethnocultural groups receive a coloured experience of the world. Isaiah Berlin philosophical account of value pluralism is also used to justify the accommodation of diversity. Berlin’s work provides an appropriate parallel in the moral domain to that of Kymlicka in the political domain.
The historical and hypothetical models discussed in this thesis provide institutional support for Kymlicka’s and Berlin’s political and theoretical arguments. The Ottoman and National Cultural Autonomy models enabled diverse groups to practice their unique ways of life whilst fitting in within the centralist government structure.
This thesis also considers contemporary examples of cultural co-existence in order to find models that further demonstrate the viability of cultural diversity and value pluralism. The examples deal with personal law disputes and arbitration, and also demonstrate the operation of multiple laws within the state and are drawn from several different modern national jurisdictions, namely Ontario, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The final chapter provides a final evaluation of the political, philosophical, historical and contemporary examples of cultural co-existence before setting out a reform agenda for Australia. The main premise to this thesis is that members of ethnocultural groups have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct cultural characteristics, whilst retaining the right to participate fully as members of nation states in ways that recognise and affirm, rather than exclude, assimilate and denigrate their cultural ways of life.
- Taxation Law