Managing complex cultural diversity in Europe : the idea of diversity partnerships
Title: Managing complex cultural diversity in Europe : the idea of diversity partnerships
Series/Number: Global Governance Programme; 2014/02; Policy Briefs; Cultural Pluralism
External link: http://globalgovernanceprogramme.eui.eu
At the wake of the European election of 25 May 2014, one main result is striking across Europe: the rise of populist and far right political parties. These parties tend to capitalise on citizens’ economic insecurity and political discontent with national and European elites. Their campaigning strategies have been largely based on cultivating a climate of threat and a ‘patriotic’ desire for regaining ‘control’ over ‘our country’ against alien forces such as the European Union or indeed migrant populations and ethnic minorities. Such populations are suitable scapegoats whom to blame for rising unemployment, welfare cuts and urban decay in European metropoles. The response by progressive political forces or civil society is often defensive, seeking to prove that they are not ‘favouring’ minorities or migrants or that they are effectively tackling domestic unemployment or urban tensions through retraining or gentrification programmes. This policy brief proposes an analysis of the challenge, and an alternative strategy to make the most of cultural diversity as a positive factor for democracy and growth, through a participatory approach. In the brief the authors put forward the idea of developing local Diversity Partnerships and present some examples of what has been done or could be done with such initiatives, in particular in relation to the two groups that mostly attract negative attention in the public debate because of their presumed inability to integrate into mainstream European secular, modern, and democratic societies: the Muslims and the Roma.
Type of Access: openAccess