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June 29 , 2009

The Multiculturalism Backlash

European Discourses, Policies and Practices


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.

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