Academic Workshop: Debating Multiculturalism 1

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Konya, Turkey

Asif Afridi

Deputy CEO at brap

Dr Marie Macey

Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Applied Social Research, University of Bradford

Dr Michael Connolly

Lecturer in Law, University of Surrey

Hengameh Ashraf Emami

Part-time PhD student, University of Sunderland

Mohammed Abdul Aziz

Woolf Institute

Prof Karim Murji

University of West London

Professor of Social Policy and Criminology in University of West London

Organisers: Dialogue Society Leeds Branch, Leeds Metropolitan University (UK) and Mevlana University (Turkey)

Workshop Proceedings


The Dialogue Society is organising two academic workshops on the theme of ‘Debating Multiculturalism’ to take place in April and May 2012. This publication comprises the papers accepted for ‘Debating Multiculturalism 1’, to take place in Konya, Turkey, in April.

The Dialogue Society is organising this first workshop through its Leeds Branch in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University and Mevlana University. It is very grateful for the support of its two partners and to Mevlana University for hosting the event. The second workshop, to be held in Istanbul, is being organised by the Dialogue Society’s Birmingham Branch in partnership with Keele University and Fatih University, Istanbul, which will be hosting the event. While the second workshop looks at multiculturalism across Europe as well as in the UK, the first workshop focuses primarily on the UK context. Each workshop balances the perspectives of academics with those of practitioners concerned with intercultural relations.

The acute contemporary relevance of the topic of these workshops hardly requires introduction. Since the Second World War, European societies have increasingly experienced ‘multiculturalism’ in the sense of people of diverse cultural backgrounds living side by side. The ‘state multiculturalism’ publicly criticised last year in David Cameron’s Munich Speech was a UK example of European government policies embodying a concern to ensure acceptance and respect for the cultural and religious identities of minorities. Cameron is one of a number of prominent voices in the European political mainstream, including also German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who claim that multiculturalism has failed to counteract fragmentation and extremism. Meanwhile, proponents of multiculturalism continue to stress its achievements in terms of reduced discrimination and progress towards inclusive, sustainable national identities. They urge that to abandon multiculturalism would be to abandon an achievable future of genuine equality, mutual respect and creative intercultural symbiosis. Whether multiculturalism should be jettisoned as a failure or defended as the path to a flourishing diversity is a crucial and pressing question for our time.

While the geographical focus of the first workshop’s papers is the UK, Konya provides a fitting backdrop for debates concerning multiculturalism. It was the home of the Sufi poet Rumi, who lived at a time when the Konya region was significantly more diverse in terms of community and confession than it is today. Rumi’s profound spiritual insights and his conception and practice of the religious life encouraged peaceful coexistence on the basis of respect for different traditions and engagement in shared social and cultural activities.

Naturally the views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position and views of the Dialogue Society. The papers presented here are unedited papers submitted and printed in advance of the workshop. A further volume of selected papers taken from the two workshops will be published in due course.

The Dialogue Society extends heartfelt thanks to the organising committee and especially our editors for the first workshop, Professor Max Farrar, Professor Simon Robinson and Mr Omer Sener.

Numbers and Programme

To retain the intimate character of discussions at the Workshop, the maximum number of authors travelling from Britain will be limited to 10, complemented by Turkey based authors.

A detailed schedule will follow in due course.


The Dialogue Society will pay all the costs of accommodation and board, and transfers, and there is no registration fee for authors in the Workshop. However, participants are expected to pay the costs of their flight to and from Turkey (currently about £200 from the UK).


Within six months of the event, a book will be produced and published by the Dialogue Society, comprising some or all of the papers presented at the Workshop. The papers will be arranged and introduced, and to the extent appropriate, edited, by scholar(s) to be appointed by the Dialogue Society.

Copyright of the papers accepted to the Workshop and published will be vested in the Dialogue Society.

Call for Papers

Authors are invited to send abstracts (maximum 300 words) of their proposed papers on topics that address questions such as the following:

  • What are the strengths and what are the weaknesses of the British idea and practice of multiculturalism?
  • Does the concept of interculturalism provide an alternative direction for the UK?
  • Why was ‘community cohesion’ developed as a policy by the British government, after 2001? Is it a coherent policy? How effective has it been in practice?
  • In what ways have British Muslims’ lives been affected by the government’s policy for ‘preventing violent extremism’?
  • What are the implications of the attack on ‘state multiculturalism’, and the promotion of ‘muscular liberalism’ for the meaning of citizenship and the status of ‘citizen’ in Britain?
  • What can we learn from the experience of migrants and settlers in other European countries for the future of multicultural theory and practice?
  • What practical work has taken place in recent years to promote intercultural dialogue? What techniques have been employed? How effective have they been?
  • In what ways might academics contribute to dialogic processes which promote intercultural solidarity?
  • Is multiculturalism another way to strengthen the discourse of otherness and to create parallel societies?
  • What is the role of scholars in formulating and communicating the concept of interculturalism?
  • What are the issues of multiculturalism in Turkey and what solutions are possible?
  • Does the concept of multiculturalism provide fruitful solutions to recent ethnic conflicts across the Middle East?

Selection Criteria

The Editorial Board (see below) welcome abstracts alike from academics in the many relevant disciplines, practitioners working with statutory or voluntary bodies, and independent researchers or writers working on topics relevant to the Workshop.

Since the Workshop expects to address a broad range of topics while the number of authors has to be limited, writers submitting abstracts are requested to bear in mind the need to ensure that their language is technical only where absolutely necessary and intelligible to non-specialists and specialists in disciplines other than their own; and present clear, coherent arguments in a rational way and in accordance with the usual standards and format for publishable work.

For the same reason of a limited number of places in the Workshop, the Editorial Board are required to ensure that the authors and papers chosen reflect a gender balance among those delivering papers; the range of communities in Britain, whether distinguished by race or religion; and the range of activities and projects undertaken in Britain to improve community and cultural relations in the society as a whole.

Schedule for Submissions

  1. Abstracts (200–300 words maximum) and CVs (maximum of 2 pages, including any personal statement and/or listing of publications or work experience) to be received by 31st October 2011.
  2. Abstracts to be short-listed by the Editorial Board and papers invited by 30th November 2012.
  3. Papers (3,000 words minimum – 5,000 words maximum, excluding bibliography) to be received by 30th January 2012.
  4. Papers reviewed by the Editorial Board and classed as: Accepted – No Recommendations; Accepted – See Recommendations; Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations; Not Accepted.
  5. The outcome of the review (including any recommendations for revisions or improvements) communicated to authors by 29th February 2012.
  6. Final papers to be received by 15th March 2012.

Submission Procedure

Abstracts and CVs should be submitted, in English only, as MS Word documents attached to an email addressed to by 12:00 pm UK time on 31st October 2011. Authors must indicate at this stage if audio-visual equipment may be required in the presentation of their paper and relevant technical specifications.

The abstracts submitted will be reviewed and selection made by the Editorial Board in light of the criteria set out above. The decision of the Board is final.

Authors invited to submit full papers must do so by no later than 17:00 UK time on 30th November 2012. The papers must be submitted, in English only, as a single MS Word document attached to an email addressed to

Full papers should be of the following description:

  • No less than 3,000 words and no more than 5,000 words (excluding bibliographies).
  • Containing a bibliography at the end of the paper in Harvard format within the same Word document.
  • Including references where necessary and page numbers.
  • Edited, proofread, of academic standard and publishable quality.

Upon submission, each paper will be assigned to one editor on the board who will class the paper as one of the following:

  • Accepted – No Recommendations. This means the paper is accepted without any recommendations.
  • Accepted – See Recommendations. This means the paper is accepted. However, the author may want to consider the recommendations made.
  • Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations. This means the paper is acceptable provided the stated recommendations are taken into account and the paper is revised accordingly. Papers classed as such will be provided with a second deadline, upon which the assigned editor will review the paper for the second time and decide either to accept or decline the paper.
  • Not Accepted: If the paper is classed as ‘Not Accepted’ then the paper will not be included at the conference and no further action need be taken by the author.

Authors of accepted papers to submit their final papers by no later 15th March 2012.

Editorial Board

  • Prof Max Farrar, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Prof Simon Robinson, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Dr Erkan Toguslu, University Leuven
  • Omer Sener, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Hakan Gok, Durham University

Workshop Co-ordinator

Omer Sener, Leeds Metropolitan University

Please click here for the Academic Worksop: Debating Multiculturalism – 2