13/01/2014

Interculturalism and Multiculturalism: Similarities and Differences

BARRETT Martyn, Interculturalism and Multiculturalism: Similarities and Differences, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, 2013, 188 pages.

This book examines the relationship between two policy approaches for managing the cultural diversity of contemporary societies: interculturalism and multiculturalism.

The relationship between these two approaches has been a matter of intense debate in recent years. Some commentators argue that they represent two very different approaches, while others argue that interculturalism merely re-emphasises some of the core elements of present-day multiculturalism. The debate arises, in part, because multiculturalism can take a variety of different forms, which makes it difficult to identify its key features in order to compare it with interculturalism. The debate has gained added momentum from the backlash against multiculturalism in recent years, and from the Council of Europe’s prominent championing of interculturalism as an alternative approach.

This book aims to clarify the concepts of interculturalism and multiculturalism, and to bring the various arguments together in a way that will assist politicians, policymakers, practitioners and interested lay people to understand the concerns that are driving the different orientations. The book is also intended to facilitate a comparison of the policy implications of interculturalism and multiculturalism. To this end, each chapter concludes with a concise statement of the implications for policy that follow from the viewpoint that has been expressed.