Definition of particularism in English:


Syllabification: par·tic·u·lar·ism
Pronunciation: /pə(r)ˈtikyələˌrizəm


  • 1Exclusive attachment to one’s own group, party, or nation.
    More example sentences
    • Usually they're mocked as advocating some old-fashioned left-wing politics or some particularism, like saving local conditions against globalism.
    • There is, in fact, a natural cap on local property tax rates imposed by local particularism.
    • To enable basic tax reform at the local level we must deal with local particularism.
  • 1.1The 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.
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    • 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.
    • Identity politics, particularism, and localism against the uniformity of abstract universalism are common features of the postmodern condition.
    • To separate nationalism from regionalism or particularism is difficult and often depends upon the eye of the observer.
  • 1.2 Theology The doctrine that some but not all people are elected and redeemed.
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    • In Levenson's approach, biblical particularism contains a universal horizon, but this universal horizon is not a new superior stage of religious faith.
    • 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.
    • 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.



noun & adjective
More example sentences
  • One reason this sometimes occurs is that its formal processes are functionally defective in permitting the particularist interests of unjust associations to block effective decision-making for intervention and rescue.
  • Rifts are common and frequent, and continually being patched over or exploited by different would-be leaders seeking a panethnic or more particularist base.
  • Liberalism had come to seem not a universalist creed, something for all Americans to embrace, but a particularist creed.


Pronunciation: /-ˌtikyələˈristik/
More example sentences
  • Resistance has been ubiquitous in slave systems, but it has usually been particularistic - freedom for a given person or group - and often frustrated.
  • In the longer term, however, the sovereign state, in alliance with liberal ideals, moved beyond particularistic notions of justice to universal ones.
  • There is nothing wrong with a humanitarian intent, but one must always be sceptical of particularistic motives hiding behind the assertion of a universalist ethic.


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

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