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November 2010: Multiculturalism & Integration

Introduction to the Month's Focal Piece Editor's introduction: Multiculturalism & Integration

Germany's Integration Blinkers. What's So Bad About Parallel Societies?” by Henryk M. Broder, Spiegel Online, November 20, 2010

Angela Merkel: German Multiculturalism has Utterly Failed,” by Matthew Weaver, The Guardian, October 17, 2010

Alison BryskCitizenship, Rights and Culture
by Alison Brysk

"(…) Beyond this, those of us who are American citizens have a special obligation to hold our own society to its rights-based citizenship ideals. Racial profiling in Arizona’s immigration law, proposals to change the 14th Amendment granting citizenship to all born in the US, and mosque-bashing at Ground Zero and beyond are all betrayals of American values as well as international human rights."

Par EngstromEuropean Identity Struggles in the Age of Austerity
by Par Engstrom

"Right-wing political parties have managed to capitalize on the failure of integration of recent immigrants in many European countries and the increasing visibility of “parallel societies.” However, it is certainly paradoxical in a time of economic crisis and austerity that the most controversial political debates in Europe today seem to revolve around questions concerning the dress code of Muslim girls and women, and the building of minarets and mosques."

Marc Alexander C. GionetMulticulturalism and the Struggle of National Normative Challenges
by Marc Alexander C. Gionet

"It may appear to be disordered and tensioned, but the existence of a multicultural society that is able to reasonably accommodate a vast spectrum of beliefs and practices without compromising normative values is possible. The functionality of such a society requires a high threshold of respect, education, and accessible mechanisms for conflict resolution."


Erin MooneyA Protection Post-Mortem on the "Death" of Multiculturalism in Germany
by Erin Mooney

"Of course, it is one thing if immigrants choose, as is their right, to maintain strong links with their cultural heritage and community of origin, thereby co-existing in so-called “parallel societies,” all the while participating in Germany’s economic and cultural development. However, it is another matter entirely when state policy and practice put legal, administrative, and institutional obstacles in their path towards integration."

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