Definition of particularism in English:



mass noun
  • 1Exclusive attachment to one's own group, party, or nation.

    ‘such barriers are created by local particularism and privilege’
    count noun ‘religious and cultural particularisms’
    • ‘In sum, local growth orientation has become too weak, partial, and spasmodic to overcome the restrictive force of local particularism, which today dominates policy almost everywhere.’
    • ‘A universal religion, by contrast, is indifferent to ethnic civic life, transcends cultural particularism, and stands aloof from issues to do with the reproduction of the tribe.’
    • ‘Usually they're mocked as advocating some old-fashioned left-wing politics or some particularism, like saving local conditions against globalism.’
    • ‘Cowan also discusses the erosion of municipal liberties by central governments bent on expanding their authority, expunging local particularism, and exercising tighter control over urban finances.’
    • ‘To enable basic tax reform at the local level we must deal with local particularism.’
    • ‘The Singapore case, however, points to another dimension of the politics of community that brings us back to the communitarian defense of cultural particularism.’
    • ‘From Lowry's perspective, by contrast, national particularism can never be an unmitigatedly constructive force.’
    • ‘This sort of tolerant encouragement of local particularism was undermined, however, by a powerful statist dimension in imperial attitudes.’
    • ‘The first threat followed from a rising tide of exclusionary, intolerant ethnic particularism, the second from the blurring, ultimately homogenising force of global consumerism.’
    • ‘There is, in fact, a natural cap on local property tax rates imposed by local particularism.’
    • ‘This, and other similar projects, came to naught because once such bodies went beyond a rhetorical expression of equality, they found themselves confronted by the imposing obstacles of particularism, privilege, and precedent.’
    • ‘Will the discursive spaces within the left be divided into radical, semi-radical, not-so radical, etc. depending on abnegation of one's own particularism?’
    • ‘First of all, it is radically opposed to narrow ethnic particularism.’
    1. 1.1 The principle of leaving each state in an empire or federation free to govern itself and promote its own interests, without reference to those of the whole.
      • ‘In an earlier period, when they were directed against feudal particularism and colonialism, struggles to form nation-states had a progressive content, were unifying movements.’
      • ‘However convenient in other respects, it was thought likely to be a cause of permanent German resentment, unless perhaps particularism were to revive in the historic provinces such as Bavaria.’
      • ‘Imposed globalism incites pre-meditated particularism as an antidote to homogeneity.’
      • ‘This means that any critique of liberalism is self-contradictory if it promotes particularism as an alternative.’
      • ‘Isn't it precisely the case that US particularism is the universal ideology at the moment, inasmuch as few bat an eyelid when values like democracy and liberalism are claimed as ‘American values’?’
      • ‘Howard's admirable insistence on historical particularism and multicultural inclusion raises another set of questions.’
      • ‘Previously, political life had been characterised by vehement feuds between the various conservative parties, which had their roots far back in the period of German particularism.’
      • ‘While Reed remains a major figure with an increasingly international outlook, like the philosophers of the Enlightenment, his internationalism remains strongly tied to particularism.’
      • ‘The development of the market broke down the particularism of earlier forms of society and represented a tremendous advance in social organisation.’
      • ‘I hope we would all agree, that the type of particularism, which sent Popper into exile, which resulted in the catastrophes in central Europe, and continues to cause major catastrophes today, that this is not an acceptable alternative.’
      • ‘But where to draw the line between present needs and future aspirations, between particularism and universalism, between cultural difference and economic progress?’
      • ‘It was a progressive movement whenever it was directed against feudal particularism.’
      • ‘This trained them in a kind of perverse particularism and made them ready to defend the concrete institutions of a given place - however evil.’
      • ‘It has often been noted that German society retains a small town ethos, which arose in the early modern period under conditions of political and economic particularism.’
      • ‘This, coupled with Norway's decision to reject the European Union, suggests a simmering and underestimated particularism and nationalism.’
      • ‘Behind the façade of German unification, German particularism still thrived.’
      • ‘To separate nationalism from regionalism or particularism is difficult and often depends upon the eye of the observer.’
      • ‘In Italy and Germany they expressed a desire for national unity and an opposition to the feudal particularism that was embodied in the many small states that then divided these nations.’
      • ‘Cults and sacrifices in classical Greece were intimately linked to civic distinctions and in their staggering multiplicity they also reflect the regionalism and particularism of classical Greek society.’
      • ‘Identity politics, particularism, and localism against the uniformity of abstract universalism are common features of the postmodern condition.’
  • 2Theology
    The doctrine that some but not all people are elected and redeemed.

    • ‘You have also decided to pursue Muslim particularism.’
    • ‘Surely the kind of moral universalism to which all four thinkers aspired is no less an aspect of the Jewish experience in modernity than the assertion of Jewish particularism.’
    • ‘He believes that concern for social justice is integral to Judaism - that universalism is an aspect, so to speak, of Jewish particularism.’
    • ‘One further point is that even the propensity to pair universalism and inclusivism over against particularism and exclusivism is problematic when applied to the biblical period.’
    • ‘In Levenson's approach, biblical particularism contains a universal horizon, but this universal horizon is not a new superior stage of religious faith.’


Early 19th century: from French particularisme, modern Latin particularismus, and German Partikularismus, based on Latin particularis ‘concerning a small part’.