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Caring Multiculturalism : Local Immigrant Policies and Narratives of Integration in Malmö, Birmingham and Bologna


  • Sarah Scuzzarello

Summary, in English

Western European states are faced by societies with increasing ethnic, cultural and religious diversity as a result of migration flows. Advocates of multiculturalism have tried to address these potential challenges by advocating the accommodation of minorities within the recipient society. This study argues that the normative and practical measures suggested by multiculturalists tend to be de-contextualised and rest on a static understanding of identity formation and of culture.

The dissertation aims to develop an explicitly transformative approach to multiculturalism. This approach is called “caring multiculturalism”. First, the author outlines a theoretical and normative framework which focuses on the possibilities to achieve social and cognitive change. Then, this framework is tested by evidence from three empirical cases which are analysed comparatively. Specifically, the empirical study looks at the institutional and narrative opportunities provided by the municipalities of Malmö in Sweden, Birmingham in Britain, and Bologna in Italy, to adopt caring multiculturalism. First, the analysis examines the mechanisms of political participation provided to migrants by each municipality in order to gauge the extent to which migrants are formally included in the recipient society. Second, it studies the narratives expressed by public actors and in policy documents. It examines each municipality’s immigrant policies and assesses how migrants’ integration is narratively constructed and how migrants are constructed in relation to the majority society. This examination of the institutional and narratives opportunities supplied by the municipalities to include migrants in the polity is the body of evidence for assessing if, and in what ways, caring multiculturalism can be adopted in the cases. Finally, the dissertation considers which factors favour the adoption of caring multiculturalism, and which ones constrain it, in the light of the empirical analysis.

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Lund University


  • Political Science


  • caring ethics
  • Multiculturalism
  • identity
  • narrative
  • institutional opportunities
  • policy narratives
  • Malmö
  • Bologna
  • Birmingham




  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 91-88306-78-X
  • ISBN: 978-91-88306-78-4

Defence date

21 May 2010

Defence time


Defence place

Edens hörsal, Hus H, Paradisgatan 5, Lund


  • Paul Nesbitt-Larking (Professor)