Diversity challenges in Europe: aims and overview of the book

Fecha de publicación:
Anna Triandafyllidou and Ricard Zapata-Barrero

The book is equally concerned with native and immigrant minorities depending on their relevance for each country. A distinction between ethnic minorities and migrant populations is in order here as usually these two different types of minorities enjoy different sets of rights and different levels of public recognition. Native minorities are defined as populations that have been historically established in a given territory and which took part in the formation of the (national or multi-national) state in which they live (such as Catalonian population within Spain or Flemish in Begium). In many cases their participation in state-building is recognized in the Constitution and they are guaranteed special rights regarding the preservation of their cultural, religious, or linguistic heritage. In some countries, there are special provisions regarding the political representation of a native minority in cases where that minority is so numerically small that it risks being left out of the political system. This book’s theoretical focus is not only on diversity but also on whether we reject, tolerate or accept/respect specific diversity claims. We question tolerance as a concept, discuss its meaning in different contexts, and look at the practices of tolerance in different countries and towards different minority groups. We propose tolerance as a middle class concept and practice that stands between intolerance (the non acceptance of individuals, groups or practices) and acceptance, respect and public recognition of minority individuals, groups or practices.