2003: Towards a Cosmopolitan Culture?
Future Consequences of Religion, Ethnicity and Migration
Europe in recent decades has been increasingly characterised by an ethnic and cultural diversity with a growing non-European element. The conflicts and problems arising in this connection are perhaps to be viewed as a species of teething trouble on the road to a fruitful hybrid culture. Coupled with a growth of socio-economic stratification, they can also mark the beginning of a profound fragmentation whereby ethnic subcultures, instead of being integrated with European societies, reject the values and norms of the dominant culture. There are fears of such a society becoming characterised by strong suspicion and hostility, a “conflict of civilisations” in the everyday context.
The trend towards even greater ethnic and cultural diversity in Europe seems inevitable in the century that lies ahead of us. The European population is ageing steadily, and all the indications are that its low birth rate will have to be made up for by means of large-scale immigration.
What will it take for this kind of Europe to become a smooth-running society? What demands will be made on European societies and on people migrating to them? On what philosophical and political foundations is such a society to rest? What, for example, will be the role of religion? Will a cosmopolitan culture arise as a consequence of generation changes, with new generations becoming less and less tied to their ethnic identity and adopting a global culture and lifestyle? Or will separate identities flourish but prove less of a problem than expected; perhaps the fear of them is just a legacy of the homogenisation ideals of modernism?
There are perhaps important lessons to be learned for the future by studying the situation in present-day Europe. Different countries – France, Britain and Germany, to take just a few examples – have adopted different standpoints on immigration, and comparisons between them could provide important clues for what a future policy might bring and what can Europe learn from the United States, with its long tradition of being a melting pot?
Philip Bobbitt: Sovereignty and Identity in a Historical Perspective
Professor, Texas University, School of Law, USA
Ingvild Saelid Gilhus: The Role of Religion in Cosmopolitan Cultures
Professor, University of Bergen, Department of Religious Studies, Norway
Richard Swartz: Historical Experience of European Cosmopolitanism – The Habsburg Empire and the Fall of Yugoslavia
Author and Journalist, Sweden
Zygmunt Bauman: When Strangers Meet Strangers – The Challenges of Cosmopolitanism
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Leeds and University of Warsaw, UK/Poland
Nathan Glazer: The Reality of Multiculturalism in America
Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, Department of Sociology, USA
Russell Jacoby: The Myth of Multiculturalism
Professor of History, UCLA, USA
David Goodhart: Solidarity and Diversity: The Progressive Dilemma
Editor-in-Chief, Prospect Magazine, UK
Norman Birnbaum: USA and Europe – The Identity Divide
Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University Law Center, USA
Catherine Audard: Multicultural Citizenship and the Politics of Recognition – The Case of France
Dr, London School of Economics, Forum of European Philosophy, UK
Michael Bommes: German Identity and Ethnic Diversity
Dr, Professor, University of Osnabrück, Institute of Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, Germany
Jytte Klausen: Euro-Muslims: Rejection and Belonging
Professor, Brandeis University, Department of Politics, USA
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The Case of Holland
Member of Parliament, Volkspartij Voor Vrijheid en Democratie, The Netherlands
Elazar Barkan: Historical Crimes and National Identity
Professor, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Claremont Graduate University, USA
Adam Kuper: The Culture of Discrimination: Reflections on Multi-culturalism
Professor, Department of Human Science, Brunel University, UK
Kenan Malik: Multiculturalism and Individual Freedom
Author and Journalist, London, UK
Christopher Hitchens: Should the World Become American?
Author and Journalist, UK/USA