The Multicultural Question in a Mobile World

April 7, 2016 @ 9:00 am – April 8, 2016 @ 6:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Villa La Fonte
Via delle Fontanelle
18, 50014 Fiesole FI
Valentina Bettin

Scientific Organiser: Anna Triandafyllidou


Scientific Committee: Keith Banting, Queen’s University; Rainer Bauböck, EUI; Will Kymlicka, Queen’s University; Geoffrey Levey, University of New South Wales; Tariq Modood, University of Bristol

The last 25 years have been characterised by intensive debates on whether multiculturalism is an appropriate normative and political paradigm for integrating culturally diverse populations in liberal and democratic societies. No firm answer has been given to this question even if a lot of ink was spent to argue both in favour and against multiculturalism. In the meantime though, the nature of migration has changed. Multicultural citizenship was predicated on the assumption that migrants would settle in the destination countries and would also sooner rather than later become citizens of those countries. But things have developed otherwise.

Global migration flows have not only increased in the last 25 years but also diversified. We are witnessing a multiplication of destination countries (which for instance include southern Europe, but also Turkey, Russia, the Gulf States, several African countries), a multiplication of origin countries (more and more developing countries are integrated in the global economy in international trade and in the global migration flows), and a higher level of mobility and connectivity. Migrants appear to be more transnational than ever: they keep close connections to home through IT and cheaper transport, while migration becomes less of a life time decision. It becomes for many a rite of passage, a period in the life, that is followed by return or by onwards migration to a third country. While patters of such mobility differ greatly between countries, and among individuals/households (in line with levels of skills, employment opportunities, visa requirements and life stages of the migrant and her family), they are becoming a new structural feature of international migration. The settlement and citizenship package is no longer to be taken for granted as the migrant’s plan and aim. And integration policies and philosophies have to come to terms with higher and more complex mobility and super-diverse migrant populations.

Rather than debating whether multiculturalism has failed or has partially succeeded or needs to be re-examined, we have proposed in this conference to consider how the multicultural question needs to be rethought in a framework of higher connectivity, higher mobility and less settlement and perhaps not a citizenship acquisition perspective.

The conference included five Plenary Sessions outlined below and Six Parallel Sessions.


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Plenary Session

Plenary Session 1 and 2: A Mobile and Interconnected World

Chair: Geoffrey Levey, University of New South Wales


Just Visiting? Social Solidarity in a Mobile World

Keith Banting is the Stauffer Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies and professor emeritus in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University in Canada. His research interests focus on the politics of social policy, and his recent publications explore two dimensions of the social role of the state: the politics of inequality and the relationship between multiculturalism and social solidarity. In the first area, his recent publications include Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics (University British Columbia Press 2013), edited with John Myles. In the field of multiculturalism, he is co-editor with Will Kymlicka of Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Recognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies (Oxford University Press 2007) and The Strains of Commitment: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Dr. Banting is a member a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


Is national identity relevant in a mobile world?

Anna Triandafyllidou is professor at the EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre’s Global Governance Programme, where she coordinates the Research Area on Cultural Pluralism. Previously, she was part time professor at the RSCAS (2010-2012) and Senior Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (2004-2012). She has been Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges since 2002 and a member of the Spinelli Group since its foundation. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. She serves as national expert and evaluator of research for several national and international projects and networks and agencies.

Parallel Session 1.1: Perceptions of Difference and Inter-group Relations

Chair: Heather Grabbe, EUI

  • Friend or Foe? Attitudes Towards Immigration from Other EU Countries
    Justyna Salamonska, EUI
  • Constituting the Intercultural Citizen: EU Cultural Policy, Volatile Mobility, Deterritorialised Identity?
    Siresa Lopez-Berengueres, Pompeu Fabra University
  • Transient Traces? Lessons from EC/EU Enlargements and the Schengen Area to address the Global Governance Challenges of Multiculturalism
    Cristina Blanco de Sio Lopez, New University of Lisbon

Parallel Session 1.2: Governing Difference under Conditions of Mobility

Chair: Tariq Modood, University of Bristol

  • When Mobility Becomes a Threat: Multiculturalism in a Nativist Europe
    Aitana Guia, EUI
  • Cultural Diversity in a Mobile World: Exploring the Potential Role of ‘Vulnerability’ as Relevant Factor for Evaluating the ‘Protection’ against Invidious Discrimination and Duties of ‘Reasonable’ Accommodation
    Kristine Henrard, Erasmus School of Law
  • Linguistic Diversity and Epistemic Injustice in a Mobile World
    Matteo Bonotti, Cardiff University and Yael Peled, McGill University

Parallel Session 2.1: New Identity Transformations

Chair: Harvey Feigenbaum, The George Washington University

  • Towards a Transnational Shi’a Identity: Islam, Multiculturalism, and the Politics of Ethno-normativity
    Emmanuelle degli Esposti, SOAS, University of London
  • Everyday multiculturalism, new forms of solidarities and new collective identities in the digital age
    Marco Martiniello, University of Liège

Parallel Session 2.2: Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Integration

Chair: Will Kymlicka, Queen’s University

  • Neutrality remains the solution
    Peter Balint, The University of New South Wales
  • The Law of Majorities
    Liav Orgad, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Multiculturalism on the Back Seat? Culture, Religion, and Justice
    Jocelyn MacLure, Laval University

Plenary Session 3 : The Multicultural Question Recast: Perspectives from Europe and North America

Chair: Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords, Westminster


Multiculturalism without citizenship?

Will Kymlicka is the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, where he has taught since 1998. His research interests focus on issues of democracy and diversity, and in particular on models of citizenship and social justice within multicultural societies. He has published eight books and over 200 articles, which have been translated into 34 languages.




Multiculturalising Citizenship and Living with Mobilities

Tariq Modood is the founding Director of the University of Bristol’s Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. He has held over 40 grants and consultancies and has over 30 (co-)authored and (co-)edited books and reports and over 200 articles or chapters in political philosophy, sociology and public policy, many of which can be accessed at




Democratic Representation in Mobile Societies

Rainer Bauböck holds a chair in social and political theory at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute. He is on leave from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

From 1986 to 1999 Rainer Bauböck was a researcher and associate professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna. He has taught regularly at the Universities of Vienna and Innsbruck and was a recurrent visiting professor at Central European University Budapest.

He was also a visiting researcher/guest professor at the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation (June-July 2006), at Yale University (Jan-May 2005), the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (2003), the University of Bristol (April-June 2002), University of Malmö (September 2000-February 2001), the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and Princeton University (September 1998-June 1999) and the University of Warwick (1990-91).

In 2003-2005, Rainer Bauböck was President of the Austrian Association of Political Science. In November 2006, he was awarded the Latsis Prize of the European Science Foundation for his work on immigration and social cohesion in modern societies.

In April 2013 Rainer Bauböck was elected corresponding member abroad of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

In October 2013 he was awarded a doctor honoris causa by Malmö University, Sweden.

From October 2012 till January 2016 Rainer Bauböck was Dean of Graduate Studies at the European University Institute.

Parallel Session 3.1: Transformations of multiculturalism

Chair: Keith Banting, Queen’s University

  • New Corridors of Migration: Refugee Crisis and the Question of Multiculturalism in the Post-Socialist Space
    Julja Sardelic, EUI
  • The New Mobility and Multiculturalist Integration: the Case of Canada
    Mihaela Vieru, Carleton University
  • The State Strikes Back: Restricting Citizenship in the Netherlands and Canada
    Willem Maas, EUI

Parallel Session 3.2: Normative debates on how to deal with diversity in a mobile world

Chair: Orit Kamir, The Centre for Dignity

  • Recognition of Identities and/or Cultures’ in a ‘Mobile World’?
    Veit Bader, University of Amsterdam
  • Multiculturalism and temporary migrant workers
    Bouke de Vries, EUI
  • Social Cohesion and Open Borders: A Zero-Sum Game?
    Esma Baycan, University of Geneva

Plenary Session 4: The Multicultural Question Recast: Perspectives from India and Australia

Chair: Philippe Van Parijs, University of Leuven


India and the Growing Threat to its Multiculturalism

Bhikhu Parekh is an eminent political theorist in Britain and an active member in the House of Lords. Educated at the Universities of Bombay and London, he taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Glasgow before taking up a long term position at the University of Hull.Between 1981 and 1984 he was Vice-Chancellor at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India. He also held the Centennial Professorship in the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and a professorship of political philosophy at the University of Westminster. In 2002, he served as president of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences. Parekh has also served on the Commission for Racial Equality (including a spell as Vice-Chairman) and has held membership of a number of bodies concerned with issues of racial equality and multiculturalism – most notably as Chairman of the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain from 1998 to 2000. The report of this body (often referred to as the “Parekh Report”) has been the basis for much of the debate on multiculturalism in the UK in the early 21st century.  Lord Parekh is the author of several books on political philosophy, the latest being A New Politics of Identity: Political Principles for an Interdependent World (2008). He is Vice-President of The Gandhi Foundation, a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, and a member of the National Commission on Equal Opportunity. Professor Parekh has received many awards throughout his distinguished career including the BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999; the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Philosophy by the Political Studies Association (2002); and the Padma Bhushan honours in the 2007 Indian Republic Day Honours list.


Multiculturalism on the Move: An Australian Perspective

Geoffrey Brahm Levey is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. His recent publications include, as editor, Authenticity, Autonomy and Multiculturalism (Routledge 2015) and The Politics of Citizenship in Immigrant Democracies: The Experience of the United States, Canada and Australia, with Ayelet Shachar (Routledge 2015). He also is editor of Political Theory and Australian Multiculturalism (Berghahn Books, 2012, 2008), and co-editor of Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship, with Tariq Modood (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Parallel Session 4.1: Temporariness and the Making of Identity

Chair: Will Kymlicka, Queen’s University

  • New global migration flows and the challenges of temporariness. Time, space and the making of place in the lives of irregular migrants.
    Claudia Tazreiter, University of New South Wales
  • Mother Tongue and the Family – A (Stronger) Case for Migrants’ Languages in Receiving Societies
    Darian Heim, Pompeu Fabra University
  • From Stable Settlers to Mobile Movers? Hidden Mobility among Postwar Migrants to Europe and its Implications for our Understanding of Integration Policies Past, Present and Future
    Jozefien De Bock, Ghent University

Parallel Session 4.2: Multiculturalism, citizenship and integration

Chair: Marco Martiniello, Ghent University

  • Multiculturalism and Migration
    Sune Lægaard, Roskilde University
  • The migration-mobility nexus: the need to rethink democratic citizenship and integration?
    Matteo Gianni, University of Geneva

Concluding Plenary Session: Justice and Dignity in a Mobile World

Chair: Rainer Bauböck, EUI

Catherine Dauvergne

Culture, Diversity and Rights. Challenges to Multiculturalism

Catherine Dauvergne is Dean of the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She has been working in the area of refugee, immigration, and citizenship law for twenty years. Catherine’s work takes a broad perspective on the theoretical underpinnings of these areas of law, including considering how human rights principles and discourses fit into a migration and citizenship framework. She has also taken an active role in pro bono work in these areas. Catherine Dauvergne’s most recent book is The New Politics of Immigration and the End of Settler Societies published by Cambridge in 2015.

Philippe van Parijs

Basic Income in the Global Era

Philippe Van Parijs studied philosophy, law, political economy, sociology and linguistics at the Facultés universitaires Saint Louis (Brussels) and the Universities of Louvain, Oxford, Bielefeld and California (Berkeley). He holds doctorates in the social sciences (Louvain, 1977) and in philosophy (Oxford, 1980). He is Professor at the Faculty of economic, social and political sciences of the University of Louvain (UCL), where he has directed the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics since its creation in 1991. He has also been a special guest professor at the KuLeuven’s Higher Institute for Philosophy since 2006. From 2004 onwards he was for several years a Regular Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University


Rethinking Pluralism and Multiculturalism: Categorizing Human Rights as Dignity-or-Respect Based

Orit Kamir publishes, teaches and is socially active in three interdisciplinary areas: 1. Dignity, respect and honor as moral/ethical values, bedrocks of social structures, and foundations of legislation and policy making; 2. Law-and-Film: analysis of mutual influences of two powerful contemporary discourses, that have substantial impact on the creation and determination of individuals’ and societies’ forging of their self-perceptions and visions of their identities and futures; 3. Gender politics in societies, cultures and laws. She has authored six monographs and dozens of articles, mostly in these areas, in English and in Hebrew, and has taught in universities in Israel and the United States. She has participated in drafting legislation in Israel, and as founder and academic head of the center for human dignity in Israel she has worked with diverse audiences on implementing dignity and respect in daily life as well as institutional policy making. She earned her BA in law, philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and her Masters and Doctorate in Law and Culture at the University of Michigan (under the supervision of the founder of Law and Literature, Prof. J. B. White). She is an active participant in Israel’s public discourse and a social activist in gender equality and human rights.