Interculturalism in Cities

Interculturalism in Cities

Concept, Policy and Implementation

Edited by Ricard Zapata-Barrero

Cities are increasingly recognized as new players in diversity studies, and many of them are showing evidence of an intercultural shift. As an emerging concept and policy, interculturalism is becoming the most pragmatic answer to concrete concerns in cities. Within this framework, this book covers two major concerns: how to conceptualize and how to implement intercultural policies. Through the use of theoretical and comparative case studies, the current most prominent contributors in the field examine an area that multicultural policies have missed in the past: interaction between people from different cultures and national backgrounds. By compiling the recent research in Europe and elsewhere this book concludes that interculturalism is becoming both an attractive and efficient new paradigm for diversity management.

Chapter 2: Interculturalism: a policy instrument supporting social inclusion?

Tiziana Caponio and Roberta Ricucci

Subjects: geography, cities, human geography, politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, migration, urban and regional studies, cities, migration, urban studies


This chapter is dedicated to the analysis of policies and discourses, developed at local level, on interculturalism, in order to see how these take into account issues of social inclusion and exclusion. We investigate how cities define interculturalism and if, and in what way, they use intercultural policies as instruments to contrast social exclusion and foster immigrants’ social inclusion. The issue of intercultural dialogue, and generally speaking, of intercultural policies, has long been the focus of attention for European institutions. The proliferation of relationships between different groups in European cities and in the different spheres of the receiving societies (from school to access to employment, neighbourhood relations, etc.), has led to the emerging of various kinds of conflicts, which represent the background of reflections on how interculturalism can foster social inclusion. However, the relation between interculturalism and social inclusion is far from being straightforward. Intercultural policies have been very often intended as focused just on favouring the expression of different cultural backgrounds and artistic traditions rather than as instruments to avoid the social exclusion of migrant groups.

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