A number of writers have recently commented on the importance of the idea of ‘recognition’ in contemporary politics. For Daniel Salée (1995, p. 278), ‘[t]he will to recognition, to have one’s identity universally acknowledged and respected, has become perhaps one of the most significant determinants of the sociopolitical dynamics of contemporary modern societies’. Even more strongly, Nancy Fraser (1995, p. 68) contends that ‘[t]he “struggle for recognition” is fast becoming the paradigmatic form of political conflict in the late twentieth century’. From this perspective, it may be possible to cast light on a number of features of contemporary multicultural politics. For example, certain types of nationalism, anti-colonialism, organizations of linguistic and cultural minorities, and indigenous and aboriginal peoples can all be seen as groups engaged in struggles for recognition (Tully, 1995, pp. 2–3). While these political formations are very various in character, they at least share a desire to secure appropriate acknowledgement of their identity and a revaluation of the cultural traits associated with that identity.