This article explores the changing perception of "diversity" and "cultural difference" in Germany and shows how they were central in the construction of "self" and "other" throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries affecting minorities such as Jews, Poles, and others. It examines different levels of legal and political action toward minorities and immigrants in this process and explores how the perception and legal framework for the Turkish minority in the past sixty years was influenced by historical patterns of such perceptions and their memory. The article tries to shed some light on how the nature of coming-to-terms with the past ( Vergangenheitsbewältigung ) and the memory of the Holocaust have long prohibited a broader discussion on inclusion and exclusion in German society. It makes some suggestions as to what forced Germans in the postunification era to reconsider legislation, as well as society's approach to "self" and "other" under the auspices of the closing of the "postwar period" and a newly emerging united Europe.
How does one deal with diversity in an organization known to be hostile to it? Drawing on a Weberian perspective I present in this article one case occurring in actual historical practice: that of Inspector Bobkowski, a teacher, chief of the political education unit at the Berlin police academy and training center, and a hobby historian. With an eye to the case at hand as well as other efforts to deal with difference under the Weimar Republic encountered during my fieldwork, I attempt to uncover the motives underlying the action of officers who contributed to the promotion of diversity within the police force in Germany. Inquiring into their motives enables me to construct an ideal type of a “carrier of diversity,” which, I argue, shares affinities with a liberal agenda of civic equality.
The Weakness of Diversity as a Civic Argument (and How to Make It Stronger)
In this article, I use Boltanski and Thévenot's (2006) work on “logics of justification” to make the case that diversity, defined broadly as engagement with otherness, has limited worth as a “civic argument” in the United States. I argue that “diversity talk” has not been effective in civic spheres because it does not challenge the underlying pluralist architecture of the US political system. Instead, diversity in the civic sphere is regarded as producing conflict or an apolitical “improvement in manners” (Rorty 1999) rather than as a mechanism for citizenship development. This diminishes the ability for diversity to enhance democratic citizenship by fostering the development of a type of civic wisdom necessary for effective decision making in a democratic society.
A Comparative Conceptual Exploration
José María Rosales
Rooted in late seventeenth-century theories of rights, liberal ideas have brought forth since the nineteenth century a full-edged complex of traditions in moral, political, economic, social, and legal thought. Yet in historiographical debates such complexity is often blurred by presenting it under the uniform terms of a canon. Along with other methods, conceptual history is contributing to the rediscovery of liberalism's diversity. This group of articles compiles three conceptual studies on scarcely explored aspects of the history of liberalism in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary—countries whose political past has only occasionally figured in mainstream accounts of European liberalism. This introductory article is a methodological discussion of the rationale and forms in which liberalism's historical diversity is rendered through comparative conceptual research. After reflecting on the limits of the Anglophone history of political thought to grasp the plurality of liberal traditions, the article examines how transnational conceptual histories recast the understanding of liberalism as a concept, theory, ideology, and political movement.
Maria-Amelia Viteri and Aaron Tobler
This article illustrates the multiple ways in which anthropology graduate students crossed the boundaries of educational discourses by encouraging themselves, other students, activists and community leaders to speak in dialogical contexts (Giroux 2005: 73). They did this through the organisation of the Interrogating Diversity Conference. The authors organised this conference in March 2007 at the American University, Washington, DC, to expand scholarship on surveillance and policing in an egalitarian forum. We discuss how students can engage their departments and faculty in building the students' knowledge of both anthropological theories and methodology through shared scholarship. We show how students can 'apply' anthropology to audiences, which will in turn influence policy decision making. In addition, the authors explore how academics can transform knowledge sharing into tools that shape broader political and social dialogue.
For Sheila Shulman
Victor Jeleniewski Seidler
and Jewish thought together that was a gift. Dignity, Love and Diversities Possibly because she has talked about the influence of feminist and queer scholarship so much in ‘Reading Whole’, it is towards the end of that work that Shulman mentions the
After the terrorist attacks on the London transport network on 7 July 2005 some academics and journalists announced the ‘death of multiculturalism’ in Europe. Multiculturalism, however, cannot be dead because it is a social reality for millions of Europeans. Not only these who live in the global cities like London, Paris, Rome, and others, but also those who live in small ones like the Italian City of Peace, Rovereto. All the European societies from east to west and from north to south have become increasingly diverse, multicultural, multiracial and multi-religious. This diversity is producing not only high levels of uncertainty, but also lack of social cohesion. As Putnam notices in his latest large-scale study of social solidarity in American society, in the ethnically diverse areas there is less trust and civic engagement.2 Such areas lack, above all, meaningful social encounters.
Mary N. Taylor
Since the early 1990s, language used to speak of cultural practices once thought of as "folklore" has become increasingly standardized around the term intangible heritage. Supranational intangible heritage policies promote a contradictory package that aims to preserve local identity and cultural diversity while promoting democratic values and economic development. Such efforts may contribute to the deployment of language that stresses mutual exclusivity and incommensurability, with important consequences for individual and group access to resources. This article examines these tensions with ethnographic attention to a Hungarian folk revival movement, illuminating how local histories of "heritage protection" meet with the global norm of heritage governance in complicated ways. I suggest the paradoxical predicament that both "liberal" notions of diversity and ethno-national boundaries are co-produced through a number of processes in late capitalism, most notably connected to changing relations of property and citizenship regimes.
Cultural diversity has been one the most pressing challenges to present-
day Germany. Issues of diversity and, its corollary from the perspective
of the recipient society, the practice of toleration—as opposed
to the personal attitude of tolerance—are being paradigmatically
debated around the fate of Muslims. Although not new, Muslims
presence and public claims, such as the claim for legal recognition of
Islam and religious instruction in public schools, have undoubtedly
raised the issue of diversity anew. Some recent events, such as the
“Ludin case,” a German teacher of Afghan descent who fought the
federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg to wear a hijab in class, is a telling
example (see Beverly Weber’s article examining the case in this issue
of German Politics and Society). Similarly to the debate raging over
headscarves in France, this case seems to point to the “Muslim” as an
important figure of the stranger, understood as symbol of group
mediation, of the group’s inner and outer boundaries.1 But, unlike the
headscarf affair in France, where pupils are at the center stage of the
debate, the case of teachers in Germany bears witness to a different
type of stranger as outlined by Simmel in terms of spatial and symbolic
position within the group. Indeed, he/she is a stranger “from
within.”2 As such, Muslim growing and enduring presence in Germany
showcases practical problems encountered with the “management
of diversity” within some state institutions. Looking at the assessment of these dilemmas not only points to conflicting normative
models of social organization, but also puts in the hot seat those
who, to paraphrase Dubet, carry out le travail sur autrui (“work on the
other”), professionals activities, which aim at explicitly transforming
Helga A. Welsh
German unification prompted expectations of harmonization in political culture and promises of equivalent living conditions across the federation. Almost three decades later, the revival of narratives based on East-West differences has raised concerns whether inner unity, a term coined to describe political and material convergence across the former East-West divide, has stagnated or fallen behind. Frustration with the process of unification based on East-West contrasts, however, tends to downplay achievements and, importantly, regional diversity across the federation. I advocate a shift in perspective to the subnational (Land and communal) levels and illustrate regional variation with examples that address equivalent living conditions and demographic change. North-South differences coexist with East-West and within-region differences, suggesting not two but four or five Germanies. The eastern regions still occupy a special place in the unified Germany; they contribute to agenda setting and policy making with important implications across the federation.