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Provocarile multiculturalismului in Europa Centrala si de Est

One of the challenges the countries from the Central and Eastern Europe have to face constantly after the fall of communism in the 1990s is the internal and external diversity of the populations. The regrettable example of the ex-Yugoslavian space has shown that any attempt at questioning one’s (ethnic, religious) belonging in the name of a presumed „national” homogeneity is a steady source of violence and open conflict. In the same time, the populations from this area of the world are remarkably mixed, due to the heritages of a controversial history. To take a single example, the Romanian one: apart from the Romanians, here live Hungarians, Germans, Roma, Jews, to name the most well-known nationalities from a list of around 20.
One possible way of dealing with the diversity is the multicultural solution, which has been embraced in many forms by states as different as the USA, Canada, Australia and so on. Multiculturalism as a politics of cohabitation represents a challenging way of managing not only the ethnic diversity (though this is by far its mostly well-known hypostasis) but also the other forms of diversity (the religious one, the sexual one, etc.).
Yet, multiculturalism is by no means a unique way of responding to the identity solicitations of someone: the various types in which it comes – „multiculturalism of rights” (Kymlicka, Kukathas), „multiculturalism of recognition” (Ch. Taylor), „multiculturalism of fear” (Shklar) speak for many different ways of articulating the questions and the formulation of solutions. Some even speak of other labels – „interculturalism”, „trans-culturalism” as being more or less appropriate to the same issues. What is the difference between these labels and which (if any) one is more suitable to propose its solutions to the situation in the ex-communist Eastern states? Is it possible to „export” multiculturalism in Eastern states? Or maybe to „adapt” it?


The topic and issues of multiculturalism represent the research object of several categories of disciplines, such as political science, sociology, philosophy, history and so on. In the same time, it constitutes the basic theory for many practitioners, ranging from politicians to representatives of NGOs. Through this project, we attempt at facilitating the encounter and the dialogue among all these types of people, in a 3-day workshop and consequently in a volume with the texts and discussions. In this way, we expect to benefit from an interdisciplinary meeting where both the theoretical framework and the concrete cases should be put face to face. The invitation of specialists from the whole CEE region is meant to open up the discussion and to bring about the consolidation of a network of people connected by their topic of investigation.
In the same time, we intend to disseminate and multiply the information and the practical knowledge on these issues. This is why we plan to invite representatives of mass media to participate during the whole event, and to a press conference. It represents another reason for publicizing the results of the workshop in a volume.

Sections of the workshop:
1. Multicultural/ intercultural politics. Theoretical framework, challenges and opportunities.
2. The challenge and the reality of multiculturality in the CEE region. Case studies, threats and solutions.
3. Multicultural education. Achievements and prospects.

Iasi, Romania

28-30 October, 2004.

„Al. I. Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania
Open Society Foundation Romania
AXIS Foundation Publishing House

• Researchers in multiculturalism in the CEE region (sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, historians)
• Representatives of NGOs active in the field of pluralism and diversity
• Politicians promoting multicultural agendas
• Representatives of mass media

Prospective participants are asked to submit the following documents via e-mail, by September 1st 2004 the latest. All documents are to be submitted in English.
– a completed application form (the application form will soon be available in a downloadable format on the conference website; for the moment, send a blank message having as subject „Application form” to
– a recent CV or resume, including a list of publications, if any;
– a 300-words-abstract of the paper (please also mention the section of the workshop where your paper fits best).

The e-mail address where the documents are to be sent is
Please include in the subject line of the message: „application for conference in Iasi”
Participants are kindly asked to zip the documents that are bigger than 300 Kb 

A selection committee will evaluate the applications and will notify the participants by September 15th 2004.

Interested participants are kindly asked to note that in the event of being selected to participate in the conference, they will be asked to submit the full paper in advance. Deadline for submitting the papers: October 1st, 2004. The length of the paper should not exceed 4000 words

Important note:
The organizers have applied to different organizations in order to cover the costs of the event. However, potential participants are encouraged to seek for alternative funds (individual grants, institutional funds, own contribution etc.). We are not able to cover the accommodation and travel costs of participants coming from regions other than Central and Eastern Europe.

For supplementary information, please contact the seminar coordinators:
Project Coordinators:
Assoc. Prof. Sandu Frunza, Babes-Bolyai University, President of SACRI
Phone: + 4 0741 676936

Assoc. Prof. Nicu Gavriluta, Al. I. Cuza University, SCIRI Iasi coordinator
Phone: +4 0740 545234

Project assistants:
Assist. Lect. Mihaela Frunza, Ph.D., Babes-Bolyai University
Executive Editor at JSRI
Phone: +4 0744 698826