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 5: Implementing intercultural policies

Ted Cantle

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

Extract

Globalization has created new transnational communications and the movement of people on an unprecedented scale. It has led to an era of ‘super diversity’ in which the composition of western societies has become far more dynamic and complex. Ideas about personal and collective identity have profoundly changed and will require a new vision of how we live together. Interculturalism can form the basis of that vision and has already begun to spawn a set of policies and interventions to support the necessary changes, particularly at the city level. However, it should be noted that these changes will not be easy and will require committed leadership and some investment, particularly in human terms. While the process of globalization cannot be stopped and the pace of change will accelerate as political, economic and social networks become more intertwined and interdependent, Far Right and Popular Extremist Parties have grown across Europe on the pretence of their ability to turn the clock backwards. The fear and apprehension which they promote will create more tensions and conflicts are inevitable as many cultures, faiths, value systems and global forces interact and come to terms with each other. There is, however, only one direction of travel and our urgent need is to find ways in which we can make the transition as easy as possible through the development of a new intercultural policy framework.

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