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 3: Interculturalism in Montréal and Barcelona

François Rocher

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 analyses diversity policies in Québec and Catalonia, with particular focus on how Montréal’s and Barcelona’s municipal governments have understood and implemented intercultural policies. We do not intend to just present and describe these policies, but rather to understand the interaction between their components, show the (im)balance between them and draw a number of conclusions on the understanding that public actors have on this issue. The approach thus combines a brief normative reflection on the concept of interculturalism and how it has fueled public policies within governments and a number of municipalities. This chapter is divided into three sections. The first examines the constitutive dimensions of interculturalism and their transcription into public policies. We will show that it is possible to distinguish between three distinct and complementary dimensions that make up this approach: instrumentalist, humanist, and a component that focuses on the specific components of citizenship (social cohesion, belonging, loyalty and participation). The second and third sections present a brief overview of Québec’s and Catalonia’s policies on interculturalism as well as the public policies developed in Montréal and Barcelona, disaggregated by the three above mentioned dimensions.

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