European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Academic Workshop: Spotlight on Multiculturalism

3-5 May 2012

Istanbul, Turkey | Fatih University



The great power and machinery of state exercised on the basis of racial and cultural superiorty can have savage consequences: in the world this became undeniable only after the horrors of the Nazi regime (many of whose victims were Europeans) were publicised. imperial territories, held on the basis of racial and cultural superiorty, were allowed to become new, “independent” nations. Then, to meet demands for labour after the World War, European countries encouraged immigration from former colonies: the empires came home to a degree never imagined or prepared for. There was also large-scale immigration from non-colonies, like that of Turks to Germany. When it became obvious that the immigrants had settled, the discourse of mutliculturalism developed in Europe as it had in North America – namely, as a well-meaning effort to ensure that minorities were treated as equal under the law and that society affirmed their human dignity as expressed in their religious, cultural and linguistic identity.

This well-meaning policy was a significant departure for the nation-states of Europe, whose formation was typically a story of repression or marginalisation of cultural and linguistic identities in favour of decisive political identification with the state and acceptance of the norms (especially language) of the dominant community. Nevertheless, through the 1970s into the 1990s multiculturalism achieved major objectives like reducing racial discrimination, improving prospects for local or devolved legislatures, etc. But the fear persisted that the loyalty to the state of “other” communities is unreliable, a potential “enemy within”. The political extreme right had always denounced multiculturalism as a betrayal or surrender of so-called “European values”. Then, through the years since 2001, when the Muslims’ image problem intensified, it became acceptable for elites in the political mainstream also to denounce multiculturalism as a failure.

Over the same period multiculturalism has engendered an academic as well as political debate. It is no longer understood just as a way to cope with socio-cultural diversity within a single political jurisdiction. The new technologies of travel and communication have meant that culturally distant communities are thrust into neighbourhood, actual and virtual. People are able to move in and out of diverse “neighbourhoods”; and for each they may nurture and deploy a different dimension of their identity. Thus, the concept of multiculturalism now embracesbeyond the issues of situating minorities politically and securing their rightsindividual, personal domains of being and meaning.

The personal concerns and practical issues that multiculturalism now deals with mean that it has become a far more vigorously interdisiciplinary field. Sociology, ethnography, cultural anthropology, anthropology of law, urban geography, transnational geography, international and comparative law are some of the specialisms that are interconnecting and interacting to evolve a positive direction for multiculturalism. From a concern to correct abuses against minorities, multiculturalism may grow into a concern to enable social spaces in which cultural hybridity is positively welcomed and sustainable, where the reality of multiple identities for communities as well as for individuals can be legally and politically safeguarded.

The Dialogue Society, Birmingham Branch, in collaboration with Keele University and Fatih University, invites scholars and practitioners (hereinafter ‘authors’) willing to share their ideas and experience to take part in a Workshop in Istanbul to discuss the past and future of multiculturalism. The Workshop is partciularly interested in multiculturalism in Britain and Europe. Papers that relate to theories, policies and practices outside of Europe are also welcome so far as they can be related to Britain and/or a European country.


Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:
Authors are invited to send abstracts (maximum 300 words) of their papers on themes of their own choosing, which may include (by way of example only):

Multiculturalism: Basics

  • Multiculturalism and race relations
  • Multiculturalism and groups identified by faith-based traditions
  • Multiculturalism and the impact of public policy (education, health, employment
  • Multiculturalism and issues related to gender equality

Multiculturalism: Practice

  • The feasibility and relevance of multiple legal frameworks
  • The problem of extremisms of left and right
  • The many dimensions of activism (state; civil society; media; individuals)
  • Future prospects: possible new directions for multiculturalism

The Workshop is partcularly interested in multiculturalism in Britain and Europe. Papers that relate to theories, policies and practices outside of Europe are also welcome so far as they can be related to Britain and/or a European country.


Selection Criteria
The Editorial Board 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 participants 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.


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 10th January 2012.
  2. Abstracts to be short-listed by the Editorial Board and papers invited by 30th January 2012.
  3. Papers (3,000 words minimum – 5,000 words maximum, excluding bibliography) to be received by 10th March 2012.
  4. Papers reviewed by the Editorial Board and classed as: Accepted – No Recommendations; Accepted – See Recommendations; Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations; Not Accepted.
  5. Final papers to be received by 1st April 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 10th January 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 10th March 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 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 1st April 2012.

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 Editorial Board.

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


Workshop Co-ordinator
Seref Kavak, Dialogue Society Birmingham Branch Academic Coordinator



» link to the Conference