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Meeting the Challenge of Cultural Diversity in Europe

Moving Beyond the Crisis

Robin Wilson

Europe has talked itself into a refugee and security crisis. There is, however, a misrecognition of the real challenge facing Europe: the challenge of managing the relationship between Europeans and the currently stigmatized ‘others’ which it has attracted. Making the case against a ‘Europe of walls’, Robin Wilson instead proposes a refounding of Europe built on the power of diversity and an ethos of hospitality rather than an institutional thicket serving the market.
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Chapter 7: The new paradigm: intercultural integration

Robin Wilson


The role of the Council of Europe led it to address the challenge of managing cultural diversity in Europe in the wake of the Yugoslav collapse and ‘9/11’. From a small unit on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention in 2002, this work developed as shocks multiplied and member states asked in 2005 for a ‘white paper’ on intercultural dialogue. The product of a widescale consultation, the white paper, launched in 2008, enunciated the new intercultural paradigm. This was founded on democracy, human rights and the rule of law and built an architecture defined by egalitarian individualism, reciprocal recognition and impartial treatment. A wide range of consequent policies and practices were set out. Although some member states subsequently retreated into assimilationism and there was a multiculturalist rearguard action in the academy, the new paradigm has survived and developed.

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