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Research on diversity: recommendations for the future

Recommendations for the future:

  • Diversity and identity should be approached as multidimensional concepts. Need for clarifying its meanings.
  • The power of diversity should be emphasised and taken as starting point.
  • Governments should offer space for diverse identities.
  • Rethinking the concept of full citizenship to include equality (equal rights) and recognition of diversity/difference.
  • Interaction between different groups, related to perception, conflict, ethics and solidarity.
  • Exchange of best practices of policy approaches towards cultural diversity; comparisons between countries, between cities and between different actors.

Previous research findings

Research projects carried out up to date have given insight on:

  • Pathways to social exclusion for immigrants in different types of cities.
  • Migration processes.
  • Immigrants and integration.
  • Access to, quality and affordability of housing for migrants, and its impact on migrants’ integration. Research has shown the important role of housing systems in safeguarding social cohesion.

All these research findings point to the fact that redistribution reduces segregation.

Other European research projects on diversity, identity and social cohesion

Other research projects carried out at a European level are:

ERICarts: aimed at mapping national approaches, policies or strategies to Intercultural Dialogue in Europe, addressing the role of education, youth programmes, sports and culture.

IMISCOE : focusing on international migration, integration and social cohesion.

EU research projects on diversity, identity and social cohesion

Some EU-funded research projects have focused on social exclusion (its spatial patterns, dynamics causing it) and integration issues, examined in various contexts and especially related to immigrants and ethnic minorities:

Other 6th Framework Programme projects (LOCALMULTIDEM, KATARSIS, TRESEGY, SUS.DIV) were related to diversity, identity and social cohesion.

The 7th Framework Programme project EURISLAM examined the relation between:

Territorial approaches in diversity policies

Migrants usually concentrate in certain areas of big cities, which are usually deprivation areas.

Area-based approaches imply the development of measures in urban areas with an important concentration of migrants/ethnic minorities.

BUT then, migrants living in areas not known as concentration areas (being the majority) may not benefit from these measures.

To sum up, there are many approaches and policy answers to different dilemmas, BUT THE IDEAL ONE YET HAS TO BE FOUND!

Policy approaches according to the target group

Social policies may target society as a whole or specific groups:

  • General social policy: general measures and programs without taking into account specific group characteristics. 
  • Target group policy: programs and measures focusing particular groups. Positive measures.

Both types of policies may increase inequality. This apparent inability to evade inequality is known as “the dilemma of recognition“.

Recognition and redistribution

The relationship between public, cultural recognition of groups diversity and economic redistribution centered one important debate in Social Sciences between philosophers  Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth.

Read more about Nancy Fraser Read more about Axel Honneth

Axel Honneth conceives recognition as the fundamental, over-arching moral category, potentially encompassing redistribution.

Nancy Fraser argues that the two categories are both fundamental and mutually irreducible.