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Call for Papers: The Future of Multiculturalism: Structures, Integration Policies and Practices

26 June 12

Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM) University of Surrey, 8th Annual Conference, Joint international multidisciplinary conference with Migration Research Unit and University College London, 26 - 27 June 2012, University of Surrey, UK

The closing date for abstracts is 1 February 2012.


Multiculturalism as a policy approach to managing the cultural diversity of contemporary societies is once again under siege by national politicians and public commentators across Europe. Public concern about the impact of migration on social structures and cohesion has led to renewed calls for integration policies that are based greatly on ideas of assimilation rather than a desire for a genuine reciprocal integration. Furthermore, nationalist ideology or presuppositions frequently underpin the specific content of those policies.

Recent attacks on multiculturalism have coincided with increasing focus on security and securitisation in response to the threat of terrorism and political violence. Indeed, for some cause and effect is undeniable, with multiculturalism directly responsible for the recent increase in radicalisation among disaffected minority youths. While such claims are highly contentious, the links that have been drawn between multiculturalism and the growth of ideological extremism have further fuelled public anxieties concerning the suitability of multiculturalist policies.

Within Europe, two actors have been at the forefront of the debate. The European Union and the Council of Europe have to engage in a new dialogue about the position of migrants and minorities within the European social and political sphere. The focus of both organisations has been on “Intercultural Dialogue” as an alternative to multiculturalism. The aim is to establish an acknowledged form of respectful and open exchange between individuals and groups from different cultural backgrounds. This is seen as crucial for promoting tolerance and understanding, preventing conflicts, enhancing societal cohesion, and ensuring the democratic participation of all individuals in the cultural, social and economic life of the states in which they reside. In the case of the EU, 2008 was the Year of Intercultural Dialogue which sought to establish a framework of soft policy measures to support this new approach/strategy.

The conference seeks to provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary debate on:

  • the different forms of multiculturalism identifiable in Europe and beyond;
  • critiques of multiculturalism;
  • alternative policy approaches – including intercultural dialogue – for the management of cultural diversity issues;
  • the intertwining of security and securitisation issues and the debate on multiculturalism;
  • sources of radicalisation, political violence and terrorism;
  • the relationship between multiculturalism, social exclusion, democratic citizenship and political participation;
  • the impact of international policy networks on national “integration” policies;
  • comparative perspectives on states’ experiences of multiculturalism;
  • political challenges to multiculturalism, migrant communities and intercultural dialogue;
  • responses to migration: legal, economic and political;
  • current migration trends and policy approaches;

Confirmed keynote speaker:

  • Professor Mary Hickman, London Metropolitan University, followed by an expert panel to respond to the keynote address.

Confirmed panel:

  • The conference will also feature a high profile panel ‘The 'Retreat' of Multiculturalism?’ chaired by Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh.

We would like to encourage the submission of individual papers, posters and symposia which address these various issues.

For more information about the Call for Papers and online submission forms, please visit


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