Introduction: mapping the multiculturalism-interculturalism debate

Comparative Migration Studies. 2018;6(1):1-13 DOI 10.1186/s40878-018-0080-8


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Comparative Migration Studies

ISSN: 2214-594X (Online)

Publisher: SpringerOpen

Society/Institution: IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion)

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races: Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology: City population. Including children in cities, immigration

Country of publisher: Netherlands

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



François Levrau (Centre Pieter Gillis, University of Antwerp)

Patrick Loobuyck (Centre Pieter Gillis, University of Antwerp)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 13 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Since the 1970s multiculturalist policies that recognize and accommodate ethnocultural diversity have been implemented across western democracies. However, the tide seems to have changed: a ‘backlash against multiculturalism’ has been occurring since the 1990s. While it remains unclear whether this backlash is a matter of rhetoric or if there is indeed a wholesale retreat from multiculturalism, several scholars, politicians and journalists have invoked a pervasive narrative of the rise/advance and fall/retreat of multiculturalism. ‘Interculturalism’ has been introduced as a remedy, being allegedly well-suited to address some of the shortcomings of the multicultural approach. In this introduction to the Special Issue, which is about the key texts of Tariq Modood and Ricard Zapata Barrero, we present and question the nexus between the two terms. How has the ‘multiculturalism-interculturalism’ debate been held so far?