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Challenging Multiculturalism

European Models of Diversity

Edited by Raymond Taras

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Tackles the challenge of dismantling the multicultural model without destroying diversity in European society

  • Have Europeans become hostile to multiculturalism?
  • When people vote for anti-immigration parties, do they also support their anti-multiculturalism policies?
  • And are right-wing extremists becoming the storm troopers of the struggle against diversity?

In recent years, European political leaders from Angela Merkel to David Cameron have discarded the term ‘multiculturalism’ and now express scepticism, criticism and even hostility towards multicultural ways of organising their societies. Yet they are unprepared to reverse the diversity existing in their states. These contradictory choices have different political consequences in the countries examined in this book.

The future of European liberalism is being played out as multicultural notions of belonging, inclusion, tolerance and the national home are brought into question.

  • Studies 11 European countries: Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Italy, France, Poland, Russia and Turkey


List of Tables and Figures
Notes on Contributors
Foreword by Björn Fryklund (Malmö University)
PART I Theorizing Multiculturalism
1 The Twilight of Multiculturalism? Findings from across Europe, Pieter Bevelander and Raymond Taras, 2 Contemporary Citizenship and Diversity in Europe: The Place of Multiculturalism, Tariq Modood and Nasar Meer, 3 The Challenge of Multiculturalism: Political Philosophy and the Question of Diversity, Christian Fernández
PART II Multiculturalism’s Pioneers and (Ex-)enthusiasts
4 The ‘Civic Re-balancing’ of British Multiculturalism, and Beyond … Nasar Meer and Tariq Modood, 5 The Dutch Multicultural Myth, Peter Scholten, 6 Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism in Belgium, Marco Martiniello, 7 The Political Dynamics of Multiculturalism in Sweden, Karin Borevi
PART III Multicultural Societies without Multiculturalism? , 8 Public Debates and Public Opinion on Multiculturalism in Germany Martina Wasmer , 9 Danish Multiculturalism, Where Art Thou?, Nils Holtug, 10 Multiculturalism Italian Style: Soft or Weak Recognition?, Tiziana Caponio , 11 Redefining a (Mono)cultural Nation: Political Discourse against Multiculturalism in Contemporary France, Florent Villard and Pascal-Yan Sayegh
PART IV Multiculturalism’s Future Converts?, 12 Poland: Multiculturalism in the Making?, Renata Włoch, 13 Multinationalism, Mononationalism or Transnationalism in Russia?, Sergey Akopov, 14 Multiculturalism and Minorities in Turkey, Ayhan Kaya
PART V Conclusion, 15 Multiculturalism: Symptom, Cause or Solution?, Ulf Hedetoft

About the Author

Raymond Taras is Professor of Political Science at Tulane University.


Challenging Multiculturalism is a highly original and timely study of multiculturalism and its opponents in contemporary Europe. Going beyond cliches and common wisdom, by providing empirically solid answers to theoretically informed questions, it provides essential lessons for policy makers, scholars, and students alike.

- Cas Mudde, University of Georgia, author of Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe

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