1st Edition

The Multiculturalism Backlash European Discourses, Policies and Practices

Edited By Steven Vertovec, Susanne Wessendorf Copyright 2010
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    In a relatively short time, many European governments have been purposefully dropping the notion ‘multicultural’ or other references to cultural diversity in their policy vocabularies. More and more politicians and public intellectuals have criticized a perceived shift towards ‘too much diversity’. This volume goes beyond the conventional approaches to the topic offering a careful examination of not only the social conditions and political questions surrounding multiculturalism but also the recent emergence of a ‘backlash’ against multicultural initiatives, programmes and infrastructures.

    Featuring case-study based contributions from leading experts throughout Europe and North America, this multidisciplinary work seeks to assess some of these key questions with reference to recent and current trends concerning multiculturalism, cultural diversity and integration in their respective countries, evaluating questions such as

    • Is there is a common ‘sceptical turn’ against cultural diversity or a ‘backlash against difference’ sweeping Europe?
    • How have public discourses impacted upon national and local diversity management and migration policies?
    • Are the discourses and policy shifts actually reflected in everyday practices within culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse settings?

    The Multiculturalism Backlash provides new insights, informed reflections and comparative analyses concerning these significant processes surrounding politics, policy, public debates and the place of migrants and ethnic minorities within European societies today. Focusing on the practice and policy of multiculturalism from a comparative perspective this work will be of interest to scholars from a wide range of disciplines including migration, anthropology and sociology.

    1. Introduction: assessing the backlash against multiculturalism in Europe Steven Vertovec and Susanne Wessendorf   2. The Rise and Fall of Multiculturalism? New Debates on Inclusion and Accommodation in Diverse Societies Will Kymlicka  3. British and Others: From ‘Race’ to ‘Faith’ Ralph Grillo  4. From Toleration to Repression:The Dutch backlash against multiculturalism Baukje Prins and Sawitri Saharso  5. ‘We’re not all Multiculturalists Yet’: France Swings Between Hard Integration and Soft Anti-discrimination Patrick Simon  6. Denmark versus Multiculturalism Ulf Hedetoft  7. Switzerland: A Multicultural Country Without Multicultural Policies? Gianni d’Amato  8. Germany: Integration Policy and Pluralism in a Self-conscious Country of Immigration  Karen Schönwälder  9. Multicultural questions in Spain: the ambivalence of Spanish public opinion  Ricard Zapata-Barrero  10. Multiculturalism: a Canadian Defence David Ley


    Steven Vertovec is Director of the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen and Honorary Joint Professor of Sociology and Ethnology, University of Göttingen. Previously he was Professor of Transnational Anthropology at the Institute of Social andCultural Anthropology, University of Oxford and Director of the British Economic and Social ResearchCouncil’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS).

    Susanne Wessendorf is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Max-Planck Institute for the Study Of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany. She has previously been an assistant lecturer At The Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Berne, Switzerland.

    "In Western European politics, "the end of multiculturalism" has become a dogma. Here is finally a book that reopens the debate by distinguishing between political rhetoric, public opinion and public policies." - Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute, Florence

    "Orchestrated predictions about "the end of multiculturalism" are shown, in this alert but finely-tuned collection, as emanating from a panic choir without a common score. Judiciously choosing seven European and two Canadian contrasts, it shows this empirically and deepens it theoretically." - Gerd Baumann, University of Amsterdam