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

Rethinking Migration: 'Diversity' in societies of immigration. A model put to the test

08 - 09 December 2011

Berlin, Germany | Mendelssohn-Remise

International Conference Series: Rethinking Migration / Migration neu denken


The Conference ''Rethinking Migration: 'Diversity' in societies of immigration. A model put to the test” aims at a critical evaluation and discussion of chances and limits of diversity approaches with regard to processes of social change in societies of immigration and related to integration, participation and anti-discrimination strategies. In all this, a European comparative perspective is adopted.

The conference puts the development and implementation of diversity concepts in societies of immigration to the test. How far do municipal diversity policies really contribute to improved chances of access for all in terms of civil and human rights policies? Can they really foster the establishment of an anti-discrimination culture which is not reduced to minority politics? Which experiences were imported to Europe or rather Germany from classical countries of immigration? On a social level it must be examined for whom diversity approaches represent a resource and for whom these strategies remain without any significance. Which existing social power structures, hierarchies and mechanisms of exclusion are changed in a positive way by diversity approaches, and which of these domains remain untouched?

Part I: Chances and Limits of Discourses on 'Diversity' in Societies of Immigration
The first part of the conference critically deals with discourses on and socio-political strategies of diversity in European societies of immigration. How is diversity defined in the context of an immigration society? Which are the socio-political chances and where are the limits of this concept?

Part II: Municipal Diversity Politics in European Comparison
The second part analyses diversity approaches of European cities in a comparative perspective. Focus is placed on European cities that, due to their social and cultural plurality,
have turned their back on traditional integration politics and instead try to implement participation-oriented and potential-oriented diversity approaches. In two panel-discussions diversity politics and strategies of innovative European cities (i.a. Rotterdam and Manchester) are discussed in comparative perspective. Furthermore, large German cities with different economic and labour market structures are compared.

Part III: Chances and Limits Regarding the Implementation of Diversity Strategies in Selected Spheres of Integration Politics
In the third part of the conference diversity politics are put to the test with regard to their effectiveness. On the basis of selected spheres of activity in integration politics (education, administration, culture, migrants' organizations) the controversial question is discussed to what extent diversity politics lead to a decrease in existing structural discrimination, or rather to what extent migrants really benefit from socio-political access to resources.



Dr. Anne von Oswald, Dr. Andrea Schmelz: Network Migration in Europe e.V.; Prof. Dr. Felicitas Hillmann: University of Bremen

Organized by:
Network Migration in Europe e.V. in Cooperation with the University of Bremen, Research group 'Migremus', Institute for Geography, and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb)


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