EASA Workshop 2012 Working Papers

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  • Publication
    The Intercultural Alternative to Multiculturalism and its Limits
    (2012-01-01) Bodirsky, Katharina
    Intercultural policies have gained salience in integration and regional development strategies in cities such as Berlin and in EU and European policy networks. Critiquing multiculturalism for having produced segregation by recognizing cultural communities, proponents of interculturalism (e.g. Wood and Landry 2008) emphasize the importance of intercultural exchange and an individual right to cultural identity combined with equality of opportunity as well as the political advertising of the value of diversity. This value, it is argued, is also economic, as intercultural exchange sparks creativity, which fosters innovation, which enhances competitiveness. Intercultural cities, it is posited, are moreover attractive to investors and the high-skilled. Based on research in Berlin and the analysis of EU documents, this paper examines why policy-makers have come to embrace interculturalism as an alternative to multiculturalism and the limits it entails for the recognition of diversity. It argues that despite its seeming inclusivity, interculturalism poses limits to what counts as support-worthy diversity which derive from liberal and neoliberal norms and the political prioritization of increased competitiveness in the neoliberal economy. Interculturalism thus feeds into the dismantling of welfare entitlements as well as processes of gentrification in the city that challenge the right to place of particular immigrant populations. Diversity in the intercultural frame thus appears as a partial concept built around particular notions of culture and class. This also becomes apparent in the anxiety that intercultural policies and policy-makers continue to betray about difference (see Eriksen 2006) - as opposed to diversity in the above sense.
  • Publication
    Some Notes on Affect and Discourses of Social Tense in Tense Times
    (2012-01-01) Sweetapple, Christopher
  • Publication
    Not a Backlash, but a Multicultural Implosion from Within: Uncertainty and Crisis in the Case of South Tyrol's "Multiculturalism"
    (2012-01-01) Zinn, Dorothy Louise
    This paper considers a case in which a regime commonly identified as "multicultural", locally entrenched and stringently defended by hegemonic politics, is nonetheless undergoing crisis and uncertainty. In the autonomous province of South Tyrol (Italy), there is a heavy social, economic, legal and discursive investment in "multiculturalism", offering a case that is often celebrated as a model of social co-existence and minority protection, and even serving as a selling point in provincial self-representations. Due to the area's peculiar history—previously belonging to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire but annexed to Italy a century ago—a "separate-but-equal" system developed as a means of defending the rights of German and Ladin linguistic minorities within the Italian state, largely as a response to the severe forms of cultural repression experienced by these groups historically. The resulting accretion of a divided society deemed "multicultural" bears within it alternative forms of multicultural coexistence. In recent years, moreover, the increasing presence of migrants has exerted new stresses on the status quo: a form of neo-assimilationist backlash on the national level, exemplified in new Italian language requirements for immigrant long-term stay permits, has provoked uncertainty and fear among some stalwart "multiculturalists" within the German-language minority, as do the growing numbers of students with a migratory background within the "multicultural" provincial school system. It remains to be seen whether or not some calls for reformulating the current regime might lead to different, and perhaps more effective, forms of "multiculturalism".
  • Publication
    Quebec’s Interculturalism Policy and the Contours of Implicit Institutional Discourse
    (2012-01-01) Shapiro, Samuel
    I approach the question of scales and political imaginaries through an exploration of how the Canadian province of Quebec is situated at the crossroads of several European and North American traditions. I discuss the relationship between the 2012 Quebec student strikes against the policies of then-Quebec premier Jean Charest and a welfare state model based on social protection, which is closer to that that found in France and several Scandinavian countries than in the rest of Canada. I then examine in depth how Quebec’s attempt to develop an alternative approach for the management of ethno-cultual diversity – often called interculturalism – has come to stand for a variety of political projects over time, despite using the same term to characterise them. Instead, interculturalism is a term which successive Quebec governments have long promoted but never defined nor explicitly framed as official policy. It is based on the power to regulate almost all migration into Quebec’s territory, which the provincial government has gradually acquired through a series of accords with the Canadian government from 1971 to 1991. I provide a detailed examination of the four main ‘phases’ of interculturalism since the 1970s. More generally, I offer reflections on how the Quebec case could help anthropology think through wider questions of institutionalisation, forms of government political culture and scale in order to understand political imaginaries.
  • Publication
    From the Intercultural Model to its Actual Implementation in a Spanish Neighborhood
    (2012-01-01) Palomera, Jaime; Aramburu, Mikel
    The language of “interculturalism” has become part of the current doxa among policy-makers. It informs the ways in which new models of diversity governance are being designed, from supra-national organisms to local councils. In general terms, intercultural models tend to place high value on the question of “living together” or “conviviality”, and also on issues of equality and social justice. However, the evidence in this paper (based on fieldwork in a working-class neighborhood in Spain) suggests that in actual practice local governments do not see local “intercultural/community” projects as a means to promote social justice but as an end in itself, often devoid of content. In the current stage of predatory capitalism, intercultural processes of governance are often narrowed down to the prevention of conflicts that may arise as “side effects,” and possible initiatives regarding socioeconomic inequalities tend to be co-opted or eroded.