Background-Report on Cities in Transition

Linked with Geoff Mulgan – England, with Demos, and with Geoff Mulgan’s Spring Conference 2006.

Global Exchange Forum Background Report, Cities in Transition Conference: Marseilles, Los Angeles, Toronto, Birmingham …

Exerpts: Introduction: In recent years, the question of how societies should cope with issues of diversity, migration and integration has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries. Traumatic events ranging from 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London to the assassination of Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the Danish cartoons controversy and the Paris riots of 2005 have amplified concerns that past policies are no longer working well. At the same time a growing body of commentary has suggested that new social fault lines are appearing around cultural identities, and around the tensions between secular and religious world views.

The precise shape of these arguments has varied in different countries but there have been common concerns about how to strike the right balance between religious and cultural autonomy on the one hand and the need to safeguard Western liberal secular traditions that (to varying degrees) separate out religion from the state, and to preserve the strengths of universal welfare states. In the UK, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, debates have focused particularly on what are seen as the limitations of multiculturalism, the tensions between solidarity and diversity,i and fears of a growing polarisation between different ethnic groups. In the US debates have been very different and have often focused on the rights or lack of rights of migrant and illegal migrant communities. In Canada the main concern has been how to sustain a relatively successful track record into an era of greater tension between communities. In France the big issue has been how to cope with the tensions between faith and secularism, and how to address the socioeconomic roots of urban conflict … (Read the rest of the 27 pages on this link).

Comments are closed.