Staff Writer Sofia Montagna attended a talk held in Fayerweather Hall with Dr. Riva Kastoryano.

“Unity will be based on diversity and open dialogue,” said Dr. Riva Kastoryano, leader of the PLURISPACE Project’s publication “Negotiating diversity in Expanded European Public Spaces.”

On Thursday, March 2nd, the European Institute and the Alliance Program co-sponsored an event with Speaker Dr. Riva Kastoryano and Moderator Dr. Adam Tooze. Dr. Kastoryano, Senior Research Fellow at the National Center for Scientific Research and author of Negotiating Identities: States and Immigrants in France and Germany, presented the results of the PLURISPACE Project’s publication “Negotiating diversity in Expanded European Public Spaces” to students. Her presentation focused on the question of how to reconcile diversity and integration in the multi-level European public space.

By “the European public space,” Dr. Kastoryano made it clear that she refers to the space of interaction of different people and different identity groups, of dialogue among states and nations, and of socialization of different political dispositions. According to Kastoryano, there is no one European public space—there are many.

According to PLURISPACE, this project was created to “better grasp the complexity and multiplicity of European public spaces.” The project’s contributors want to combine four normative approaches—multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism—to create a new approach to “integration and diversity management in different European countries.”

After introducing the project’s main goal, Dr. Kastoryano reviewed the complex interactions between multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism’s approaches to diversity in public spaces; to do so, she discussed their different approaches to national citizenship, equality, group solidarity, and policy orientation. Using multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism as a starting point, the authors of the project assert the importance of “developing a new normativity” based on these normative approaches’ “similarity, differences, and/or complementarity empirically.”

Later on in the talk, Dr. Kastoryano reviewed the outcomes of the project and the project contributors’ list of recommendations for policy-makers. Taking public discourse and leaders of voluntary associations’ opinions into account, the contributors made a list of five takeaways from the project, including that “fundamental human rights underpin a universalist discourse” and that there is a “high level of complementarity” between multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism. Among their recommendations for policy-makers included “refraining from casting interculturalism or cosmopolitanism as alternatives to multiculturalism, looking instead for ways of reconciling these policy perspectives” and “including asylum seekers and other migrants into consultative mechanisms on equality and diversity.”

After her talk, Dr. Kastoryano gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions, which gave students the opportunity for dialogue surrounding immigration, diversity, and inclusion.

“Europe needs to come to a new normativity,” Dr. Kastoryano told us. “All four perspectives”—multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism—“need to be brought together to create an integrated society.”

Header Image via Bwog Archives