LONDON – 4th May 2012 – The Dialogue Society has launched the second volume of Workshop Proceedings: Debating Multiculturalism ahead of the ‘Debating Multiculturalism’ academic workshop which will is currently taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, between 2nd and 6th May.
The workshop, organised by the Dialogue Society in partnership with Keele University and Fatih University looks at multiculturalism across Europe as well as in the UK. The 25 papers published in the book are being presented in a panel discussion format, with a balance of academic and practitioner perspectives.
The papers address a question of acute contemporary relevance: should multiculturalism be jettisoned as a failure or defended as the path to a flourishing diversity? 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 respect for the cultural and religious identities of minorities. Cameron is one of a number of prominent voices in the European political mainstream who claim that multiculturalism has failed to counteract fragmentation and extremism. Meanwhile, proponents of multiculturalism continue to urge that to abandon multiculturalism would be to abandon an achievable future of genuine equality, mutual respect and creative intercultural symbiosis. Exploring multiculturalism across Europe as well as in the UK context, these papers bring the perspectives of academics and practitioners to bear on this eminently topical and crucially important debate.
The first workshop, which took place in Konya, Turkey in April, explored the theory of multiculturalism, its strengths and weaknesses in practice and considered the relationship between multiculturalism and dialogue in the UK. This second workshop continues to appraise the points of strength and weakness of multiculturalism, but this time looking at multiculturalism in continental Europe as well as the UK.
Naturally the views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Dialogue Society.
Naturally the views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Dialogue Society. A further volume of selected papers taken from the two workshops will be published in due course.
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Notes to editors
The Dialogue Society is a registered charity, established in London in 1999, with the aim of advancing social cohesion by connecting communities through dialogue. It does this by bringing people together through discussion forums, courses, capacity building publications and outreach. It operates nation-wide with nine regional branches across the UK. The Dialogue Society aims to facilitate dialogue on a whole range of social issues. It stands for democracy, human rights, the non-instrumentalisation of religion in politics, equality and freedom of speech. For more information see www.dialoguesociety.org.