Political Organisation of Cultural Difference

Pasi Saukkonen, Sjaak Koenis

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The increase in cultural diversity imposes relatively similar challenges on European societies and the European Union, but the national traditions of how to cope with cultural differences are highly divergent. We can assume that some traditions are better prepared to face the contemporary challenges, and that the integration of national models into a European policy is a huge task in itself. Therefore, insight into and evaluation of those national traditions are needed. In the theoretical part of our essay, we shall propose a “politics-as-action” perspective on the relationship between a political state and a multicultural society. We call our approach the political organization of cultural difference (POD). In POD, the analysis focuses both on the conventional fi elds of political action (legislation, policies, distribution of resources) and on symbolic politics, in this case especially represented by national identity. Furthermore, the political organization of difference takes all three levels of political action (systemic,
civil society and individual) into account. In the empirical section, we shall compare Finland and the Netherlands to illustrate the POD approach and to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these countries’ ways of coping with cultural diversity.
TidskriftFinnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration
Sidor (från-till)4-15
Antal sidor11
StatusPublicerad - 2006
Externt publiceradJa
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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