Anna Triandafyllidou gave a keynote speech on Ethnic and Religious Diversity in 21st Century Europe: Towards a Plural Nationalism Approach in the German Sociological Association Conference that is taking place between 1 and 5 October at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.
In her presentation Triandafyllidou argues that both majorities and minorities are internally diverse and that recognising this diversity is a good start for dealing with ethnic and religious diversity challenges in European democratic moderately secular societies. She proposes a Plural Nationalism approach that requires that national states open up their ‘acceptable’ diversity spectrum so as to include populations that may have not been there when the nation-state was formed but which have lived long enough in the country and have showed their willingness to live there permanently.
Plural nationalism points to the complicated dynamics that emerge out of multiple levels of ethnic and religious diversity in contemporary European societies and requires a self-reflexive approach towards the national identity. She notes that Plural Nationalism is different from constitutional patriotism or civic nationalism as it does not give primacy to civic elements over ethnic ones but is deeply voluntaristic on both the majority and minority group level. It is quintessentially modern: Critical and self-reflexive, open-ended; Historically situated responds to contemporary challenges and allows for ‘warm’ ethno-cultural identity elements to exist and thrive within it.
For the full version of her argument see:
Triandafyllidou, A (2013) National identity and diversity: Towards plural nationalism, in J. Dobbernack and T. Modood (eds) Hard to Accept? New perspectives on tolerance, intolerance and respect. London: Palgrave, to appear in early 2013.