The Migration Working Group is a series of monthly sessions to discuss innovative research being done on migration and integration by emerging and established scholars. The series gives researchers an opportunity to present their ongoing projects, learn about each other’s work and share feedback.
Diversity remains a social fact and an unavoidable feature of the globalized world. Yet, multiculturalism is under attack almost everywhere. Some allude to the ‘crisis’ of multiculturalism and many more to its ‘failure’: failure to deal with the issue of immigration and the questions it poses; failure to protect a national way of life; failure to speak for all citizens. In recent times, populist rhetoric has appropriated the conceptual language of recognition and protection for a cultural way of life, only to subvert the multicultural agenda of inclusion and accommodation.
Under attack from multiple sites, multiculturalism today stands at the crossroads. Its future, and more appropriately, the future of progressive and inclusive democratic politics, depends upon its ability to overcome the divide between the majority and the minorities created by populist regimes. The question is: Does multiculturalism have a language to address the anxieties of the minorities and the majority community? Can it make a legitimate distinction between the vulnerabilities faced by minorities and the concerns of the majority? Can it offer an alternative idea of civic integration and a common way of life? Do we need a conceptual language that can mediate the idea of recognition with dialogue between cultures, between the majority and the minorities, and between the minorities?