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Vol 23 No 12 Dec 18/Jan 19

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Public Commissions on Cultural and Religious Diversity: National Narratives, Multiple Identities and Minorities

Edited by: Katayoun Alidadi

ISBN13: 9781472471758
Published: June 2018
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £115.00

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In several Western countries, expert commissions composed of academics, public figures, politicians and community organisers have been established by governments or civil society to reflect on the changes and challenges of an increasingly plural society. Commission recommendations on how to ‘manage’ diversities successfully have shaped national narratives and affected law and public policies, yet research on the workings of such commissions remains rare.

This book focuses on the experiences of expert commissions in the UK, France, Quebec and Belgium. Furthering the debate on commissions’ potential and limitations it draws on the first-hand experiences and introspection of former commission members and close observers, along with outside perspectives and critique from independent scholars.

Building on its companion volume (Public Commissions on Cultural and Religious Diversity: Analysis, Reception and Challenges), this book engages with core concepts of identity, nationality, citizenship, freedom, equality and accommodation. It will appeal to researchers and students of public policy, sociology, anthropology, law, religion, politics, history and migration studies, as well as policymakers and anyone with a general interest in current debates on ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.

Law and Society
Bhikhu Parekh
Introduction. A Retrospective on Diversity Commissions: From Set-Up and Working Methods to Impacting Policy
Katayoun Alidadi and Marie-Claire Foblets

Part I
The Importance of Britishness: The Parekh Commission Report and beyond
Pointing to a Multicultural Future: Rethinking Race, Ethnicity, Religion and Britishness
Tariq Modood
National Identities and the ‘Parekh Report’
Varun Uberoi
British Multiculturalism: From ‘Parekh’ to ‘PREVENT’, and Beyond
Ralph Grillo
‘Religion, Belief and Diversity in Transition: The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life’
Maleiha Malik

Part II
Laïcité Facing Religious Diversity: France’s Stasi Commission and its Legacy
Laicité is a most liberal legal frame: reflections on the work on of the Stasi Commission
Patrick Weil
Retrospective on the French Stasi Commission
Jean Baubérot and John R. Bowen
Theoretical Perspectives of Cultural and Religious Diversity in Two National Reports
Karel J. Leyva

Part III
Reasonable Accommodations Revisited: Quebec’s Bouchard-Taylor Commission
The Bouchard-Taylor Commission and Beyond. Cultural and Religious Diversity in Quebec
Jocelyn Maclure and Sébastien Lacroix
Cohesive Fear: A Comment on Maclure and Lacroix
Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens

Part IV
Belgium’s Experiment with Interculturalism: The Round Tables Experience
The Round Tables on Interculturalism: A Successful or Unsuccessful Experiment in
Deliberative Democracy?
Marie-Claire Foblets
Religious and Cultural Diversity in Belgium: Finding the Common Denominator
Patrick Charlier and Nathalie Denies
‘Making a difference’: Dialogue and compromise in the Belgian Federal Round Tables of Interculturalism
Nadia Fadil

Part V
Engaging Retrospective Insights, Forging Ways Forward
Religion in the Retreat of Multiculturalism
Christian Joppke
Religion, Culture and Liberal Democracy: The Issue of Majority Cultural Precedence
Geoffrey Brahm Levey
The European Court of Human Rights: Fundamental Assumptions that have a Chilling
Effect on the Protection of Religious Diversity
Eugenia Relaño Pastor
Charting Perspectives, Positions and Recommendations in Four Commission Reports: Reasonable Accommodation for Religion or Belief as Barometer
Katayoun Alidadi