In Europe "multiculturalism" is a term that is used to designate a set of issues concerning the presence, within homogeneous national and social contexts, of cultural differences brought about by immigrants of differing ethnic and religious identities. This set of issues challenges the potential for integration of continental states, their institutions, their political cultures, their legal regimes, their strongly unitary order. Since it raises specific problems - relating, for example, to education, marriage, women's family and social status, and religious symbols - multiculturalism represents a crucial challenge for contemporary democracies, in that it forces us to undertake and imagine modes of social and political co-existence which are significantly more varied than western states have traditionally experienced. In this book, scholars of diverse fields address these issues; although they develop different points of view, they share the belief that exploring multiculturalism does not mean yielding to the fad of "political correctness", but is rather required by a sense of historical and political urgency. Only by reflecting upon the issues raised by the multicultural emergency can we hope to achieve a solution that can protect and, indeed, further strengthen our ideal of democracy.
Contents: Introduction, by C. Galli - 1. The Philosophical Bases of Multiculturalism, by F. Rigotti - 2. Do Culture Conflicts Really Exist?: A Historical-Methodological Reflection, by A. Dal Lago - 3. Us or the Others? Multiculturalism, Democracy, Recognition, by L. Lanzillo - Democratic Civic Education and the Challenge of Multiculturalism, by M. Ostinelli - 5. A Psychological Agenda for a Multicultural Society: I. Reducing Uncertainty and Accepting Diversity, by P. Catellani - 6. A Psychological Agenda for a Multicultural Society: II. Ideas for the Future, by A. Palmonari - 7. How Do Legal Institutions React to Other Cultures?, by S. Ceccanti and S. Mancini.
Carlo Galli teaches History of Political Doctrines at the University of Bologna.