The construction of diversity at the local level / STREAM G – Governing cities

Organizer: BREY, Elisa (GEMI, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ES, and Université de Liège, BE); SANCHEZ-MONTIJANO, Elena (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, CIDOB, and GRITIM-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ES); ARBACI SALLAZZARO, Sonia (University College London, UK).


When international migration has become a part of everyday life in many urban contexts, what about the governance of diversity? Do political discourses tend to imagine diversity in terms of multiculturality, interculturality or mainstreaming of integration policies? While multiculturality and interculturality explicitly recognize diversity as part of social reality, mainstreaming would mean that cultural, ethnic or religious diversity is incorporated as part of local policies in a transversal way, though the application of generic or universal policies, adapted to the current diversity. In relation to this last issue, cities are concerned with another dilemma: How do local governments resolve the tension between the implementation of generic or universal policies, versus specific answers towards the situation of international migrants and ethnic, religious or cultural groups with potentially different needs? Considering the governance of diversity, are there tensions between political discourses and everyday life experiences? What about the role of street level bureaucrats, in comparison to policy makers and politicians? What about the agency of local citizens? Do they have any capacity to challenge “official” representations of diversity? Which social groups are included or excluded from the representations of diversity at the local level?

Expected papers should include empirical findings on cities with a relatively high level of international migration or ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. Papers could be oriented towards the analysis of political discourses; the possible tensions between the formal definition of diversity through political discourses and the application of policies; the comparison between the definition of diversity among different departments or areas in the same local government; and the influence of local citizens on the evolution of the construction of diversity.

G3. The cFrom the city to the neighbourhood: Local policy actors’ perspectives on urban diversityonstruction of diversity at the local level

Chairs: Elisa Brey (GEMI, Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Elena Sánchez-Montijano (CIDOB, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), Sonia Arbaci Sallazzaro (University College London).


Renaud Epstein, Laure Bereni
Color blind diversity. The politics and policies of ethnicity in French cities

Belén Fernández Suárez
The rhetoric of social and political actors regarding migrants’ integration at the local level in Spain

Myrte Hoekstra
From the city to the neighbourhood: Local policy actors’ perspectives on urban diversity

Roberta Marzorati, Fabio Quassoli
Governing diversity in Milan “città mondo”: political discourse and policies towards 2015 Expo

Christopher S. Fowler
Neighborhood-scale social capital and gentrification: The role of dissonance and cross purposes in promoting stability within diverse neighborhoods in South Seattle 1990-2013

Distributed papers

Ilse van Liempt, Gery Nijenhuis
From Specific to Generic and from State support to Do it Yourself: Somalis experiences with the changing diversity policy landscape of Amsterdam

Jens S. Dangschat
From integration of migrants to the push for diversity

Giovanni Laino, Tommaso Vitale
Incrementalism, Trust and Constant Pragmatism in De-Segregation Policies. Overcoming Italian Roma Camps

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