July 2006 - July 2009
This interdisciplinary project is a response to the current “crisis of multiculturalism” and the lack of a common EU intellectual framework to discuss the relevant challenges. The nine partners are selected from nine countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Spain, UK) so as to represent different experiences of migration and integration, including those still in transition with regard to migration.
There are five main research phases. First, an outlining of migration in these countries. Second, a critical review of current public debates on integration and multiculturalism. Thirdly, three case studies in each country: (i) educational challenges posed by migration related diversity, including multicultural education and faith schools; (ii) legal challenges with special reference to discrimination protection in the workplace; and (iii) political challenges with special reference to voting rights and civic participation.
The case studies will be ethnographic but incorporating different types of qualitative and quantitative data (previous studies, policy papers, media materials, qualitative interviews and discussion groups with the key actors, fieldwork notes). Knowledge dissemination activities and interaction with users are incorporated in the research process. The fourth phase is the integration of the national case studies, critically reviewing the different types of challenges and how/if they are accommodated in each country. Each partner will consider to what extent their country offers a distinctive “model” of immigrant incorporation and on what value discourses this model is based.
The last phase compares the main value discourses and perceived value conflicts among the countries studied and shall identify the European dimensions of integrating diversity (value discourses, points of tension, best practices) and elaborate an empirically grounded European theoretical model of multiculturalism appropriate to the European experience and the current crisis as a basis for a rational resolution of the current panic about multiculturalism.