The politics of diversity in Europe
Gavan Titley and Alana Lentin
Council of Europe, 2008. ISBN 978-92-871-6171-0
It is this apparent acceptance of diversity as a fact and value that this book sets out to examine, in a range of ways, it offers a countervailing assessment of 'diversity; seeing it less as a unifying social imaginary and more as a cost-free form of politics attuned to the needs of late capitalist, consumer societies. The introduction distinguishes between 'diversity polities' — emerging from a range of critiques of social power — and the "politics of diversity", a depoliticised celebration of difference that replicates the problems of multiculturalism without the benefits of the overt ideological engagement that multiculturalism has provoked.
The essays collected here are developed from a research seminar entitled "Diversity, Human Rights and Participation" organised by the Partnership on Youth between the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The studies gathered here are embedded in 10 different national contexts. They track dimensions of 'diversity' in education, social services, jurisprudence, parliamentary proceedings and employment initiatives, and assess their significances for the social actors who must negotiate these frameworks in their daily experience.