Conflicto y convivencia en los barrios urbanos diversos de Europa

New publication, in Spanish:

Nuevo libro colectivo sobre diversidad cultural y conflictos en la UE

Tras un año de intenso trabajo, se acaba de publicar en la editorial Tirant lo Blanch el volumen colectivo Diversidad cultural y conflictos en la Unión Europea. Implicaciones jurídico-políticas, editado por Ángeles Solanes, profesora de Filosofía del Derecho en la Universidad de Valencia. El libro es el fruto de una colaboración entre nueve miembros del proyecto de investigación “Derechos humanos, sociedades multiculturales y conflictos” y de autores invitados procedentes de la Universidad de Nantes y la Universidad de Oxford. A lo largo de sus 286 páginas se examinan de forma crítica y rigurosa cuestiones de indudable trascendencia y actualidad como las políticas urbanas en las ciudades globalizadas de Europa, los conflictos normativos en el ámbito familiar, las formas de violencia vinculadas a la diversidad y el papel del cine como instrumento para el conocimiento del otro. También se reflexiona sobre la importancia de los derechos humanos como guía de acción y mecanismo vertebrador de un pluralismo inclusivo, alejado de la estigmatización y criminalización de la diferencia.

Para consultar el índice y realizar la compra del libro, pinche aquí.



  • El reto que plantea el incremento de la multiculturalidad en Europa obliga a revisar las tensiones que afectan a los derechos humanos. apostando por la necesidad de alcanzar una democracia que permita afrontar las demandas de la diversidad cultural. En diferentes Estados de la Unión Europea. han surgido con” flictos en torno al alcance general de los derechos de los extranjeros y al desafío que supone el acceso equitativo tanto al espacio público como a la distribución de poder y de recursos. atendiendo a los principios de libertad e igualdad. En este trabajo. se aborda la gestión de la diversidad cultural desde disciplinas como la sociología. la antropología. la ciencia política y el derecho. A partir de este enfoque multidimensional se propone un examen crítico y riguroso de cuestiones escogidas como las políticas públicas en el contexto europeo de las ciudades multiculturales. los conflictos en el ámbito familiar y las formas de vio” lencia vinculadas a la diversidad. Además. se analiza el papel que el cine juega como instrumento idóneo para ampliar el estudio de una realidad plural en la que es fundamental la presencia del “otro”. Este libro. en síntesis. reflexiona sobre la importancia de los derechos humanos como guía de acción y mecanismo vertebrador del pluralismo inclusivo. tratando de no criminalizar lo que la diferencia supone para la convivencia en las actuales democracias.

My chapter:

Ben Gidley: Conflicto y convivencia en los barrios urbanos diversos de Europa: reintroducir los derechos humanos y la justicia social en el debate sobre la integración, pp.31-44.

My chapter is based mainly on the projects Concordia Discors and Global Migration and the Future of the City. Here is the opening section in English:

Understanding conflict and conviviality in diverse European urban neighbourhoods: putting human rights and social justice back into the integration debate

Ben Gidley

Abstract: In this chapter, I argue that the current mainstream European debate on migrant and minority integration needs to rethink the concept of integration in a more multi-dimensional and multi-directional way. The implications for this are three-fold: that qualitative and not just quantitative research is required to understand the dynamics of integration in the real world; that the principles of human rights need to be placed at the centre of the integration debate; and that we need an intersectional understanding of the lines of difference which structure integration. From this last point, the chapter concludes with a call for a turn from ethnicity to class and from the clash of civilisations to concern for social justice.

  1. The changing face of European neighbourhoods

By the end of the 20th century more people were on the move through processes of migration than at any previous time.  In the 21st century the facility for people to move is not diminishing; the incentives to do so are increasing exponentially. The logic of globalisation encourages the free flow of commodities, capital, information, ideas, cultures and people.

However, in practice, the logic of the nation-state requires that the movement of people be much more restricted than the other forms of mobility. The moral and economic case for free movement, and realisation of mobility as an expression of human agency, come up against the political walls of xenophobia and welfare chauvinism and the practical challenges of granting social rights to new arrivals.

It is at the local level, in cities of arrival, that the welfare externalities of immigration are felt: the largely urban impact of migration-driven diversity on schools, health systems and localities of migrant concentration. And it is in these mostly urban sites that the challenge of how to live together with difference will be solved. The successful future of cities will depend on their flexibility in integrating migrants and settlers, citizens and denizens.

The space of Europe exemplifies these dilemmas, with massive flows of labour (mainly East to West) internally, as well as migration from the global South caused by conflict and environmental crises. While the national state legislates the entitlements different categories of migrants have (who may not have access to social housing, healthcare etc), this can conflict with the priorities of local service providers and the pressures they are under to meet needs (e.g. when refuse asylum seekers need to be housed or to receive healthcare). While national states build the walls higher, it is urban municipal authorities which have to create solutions to these problems, tackle misunderstanding and myth about immigration, resolve conflicts of interest, and make space for intercultural dialogue raising the ancient question of the right to the city in new, urgent ways.

The demographic transformation of Europe is not even. A new cartography of diversity has emerged. In old arrival neighbourhoods, including many port cities, histories of migration are sedimented one upon the other. In such areas, we can now talk about “super-diversity”, as Steve Vertovec does: a multiplication of the axes of difference in a place, by country of origin, ethnicity, faith, migration status, migration route, levels of human capital and myriad other variables now intersecting in ever more complex ways, such that there is a diversity of opportunities and lifestyles within as well as between groups.

Meanwhile, formerly relatively homogeneous areas – rural areas, provincial towns, wealthy suburbs – are experiencing migration-driven diversity for the first time. In agricultural regions, for example, migrant labour has replaced long-established local workforces. In post-industrial towns and neighbourhoods, communities once tightly bound by interlinking kin, cultural and labour networks encounter new neighbours who don’t share the same histories or moral codes. In these “new contact zones”, the absolute numbers of migrants are much lower than in the old arrival cities, but the proportional change is often greater, which can sometimes lead to conflicts. And this shock of the new is reproduced at a larger scale in whole regions of Europe, such as in its southeast, as countries which have never seen themselves as immigration states experience the effects of global patterns of mobility.


About bengidley

Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. View all posts by bengidley

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