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Title: A post-multicultural era : implementing diversity policy in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Leeds
Author: Schiller, Maria
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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Understanding contemporary integration policy concepts in view of a purported post-multicultural era is key for the development of future integration policies . In recent years the concept of diversity has appeared as a way of giving a more positive, business oriented touch to local integration policies in European cities. However, to date there has been little empirical research on how the introduction of this concept has changed our approach of integration. It is unclear whether the aim is to activate individual talents to make society more productive or to continue pursuing equality of ethnic and cultural minorities. Is diversity just continuing with the ideas and activities of previous multicultural policies under a new label? Given the lack, of a theoretically - based definition of diversity, this thesis identifies how diversity is defined in practice. It focuses on experiments with diversity as a new integration policy in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Leeds, where municipal 'diversity officers' are implementing this policy. My thesis develops a new method, the 'research traineeship' which involves participant observation and the development of a close and reciprocal relationship between researcher and researched during an extended stay. In doing so, the thesis provides valuable insight into the very heart of what it means to govern integration today. The main argument is that diversity is not only a new name for multicultural policies, but also introduces new substance. Diversity policy in practice combines different policy elements, incorporating ideas from multiculturalism and more recent policy elements, which emphasize security and civic virtues. Diversity policy pursues different and sometimes contradictory motives, such as profitability, equality, addressing conflict, and ), responsibility. The empirical research carried out in the three cities shows precisely how local administrations in charge of implementing diversity deal with the challenge of reconciling these different motives, which is additionally complicated by the high symbolic value of the diversity concept. Furthermore, the research demonstrates that diversity policy coincides with a shift to a more neo- liberal form of governance, which re-defines the role and position of officials, politicians, civil society actors, and citizens and their relationship and forms of interaction. A professionalization of diversity officers is suggested as a strategic response for ensuring the successful implementation of diversity policies in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available