Culture, Heritage and Diversity

 

GRITIM-UPF Numbers 13 and 14 are online !

 

The Autumn issues of the GRITIM-UPF Working Paper Series are now available online. Further information on the GRITIM-UPF Working Paper Series: GRITIM-UPF Website.

 

Number 13 - Autumn 2012 - Immigration and Contested Nation-building: explaining the political salience of immigration in multi-national societies

 

Author: Fiona Barker, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

 

Abstract: Multi-national societies present a complex setting for the politics of immigration, as migration's linguistic, economic and cultural effects may coincide with existing contestation over nationhood between sub-units and the central state. Empirically, though, political actors only sometimes, and in some places, explicitly connect the politics of immigration to the stakes of multi-level politics. With reference to Canada, Belgium and the United Kingdom, this paper examines the conditions under which political leaders link immigration to ongoing debate about governance in multi-national societies. The paper argues that the distribution of policy competencies in the multi-level system is less important for shaping immigration and integration politics than is the perceived impact (positive or negative) on the sub-unit's societal culture or its power relationship with the center. Immigration and integration are more often politicized where center and sub-unit hold divergent views on migration and its place in national identity.

 

Number 14 - Autumn 2012 - Is there really a backlash against Multiculturalism Policies? New evidence from the Multiculturalism Policy Index

 

Authors: Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka, Queen's University, Canada

 

Abstract: In much of the western world, and particularly in Europe, there is a widespread perception that multiculturalism has 'failed' and that governments who once embraced a multicultural approach to diversity are turning away, adopting a strong emphasis on civic integration. This reaction, we are told, "reflects a seismic shift not just in the Netherlands, but in other European countries as well" (Joppke 2007). This paper challenges this view. Drawing on an updated version of the Multiculturalism Policy Index introduced earlier (Banting and Kymlicka 2006), the paper presents an index of the strength of multicultural policies for European countries and several traditional countries of immigration at three points in time (1980, 2000 and 2010). The results paint a different picture of contemporary experience in Europe. While a small number of countries, including most notably the Netherlands, have weakened established multicultural policies during the 2000s, such a shift is the exception. Most countries that adopted multicultural approaches in the later part of the twentieth century have maintained their programs in the first decade of the new century; and a significant number of countries have added new ones. In much of Europe, multicultural policies are not in general retreat. As a result, the turn to civic integration is often being layered on top of existing multicultural programs, leading to a blended approach to diversity. The paper reflects on the compatibility of multiculturalism policies and civic integration, arguing that more liberal forms of civic integration can be combined with multiculturalism but that more illiberal or coercive forms are incompatible with a multicultural approach.