Multiculturalism, interculturalism and citizenship

Nasar Meer, Tariq Modood

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    In this chapter we engage with some recent authors who believe that an alternative to multiculturalism must be sought in order to understand and live with diversity. These authors are not anti-diversity, on the contrary, but they share the view that multiculturalism is no longer a persuasive intellectual or policy approach. For example, the Council of Europe’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue (2008) included the finding that the majority of practitioners and NGOs across Europe had come to the conclusion that multiculturalism was no longer fit for purpose, and needed to be replaced by a form of interculturalism. Similar views were expressed in the UNESCO World Report, Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue (2008). More recently still, Ted Cantle (2012: 2) has described interculturalism ‘as an opportunity to replace multiculturalism as a conceptual and policy framework’, while Maxwell et al (2012: 429) maintain that ‘Interculturalism represents a gain over Multiculturalism while pursuing the same set of most uncontroversial political ends…’. These statements therefore invite the question: in what ways – if at all - is interculturalism different, substantively or otherwise, from multiculturalism?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMulticulturalism and Interculturalism
    Subtitle of host publicationDebating the Dividing Lines
    EditorsNasar Meer, Tariq Modood, Ricard Zapata-Barrero
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781474407083
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


    • interculturalism
    • multicultural society
    • disproportionation
    • contemporary society


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