diversity people


The focus on diversity is on the intersection between categories of power and identity such as gender, class, religion, ethnicity, legal status, citizenship and many others. 


Societies have always been diverse. The question is how societies deal (and dealt) with difference. Which differences make a difference, to whom, when and why? Policy makers and claim makers (such as NGOs) find it difficult to design or advocate for policies that take the intersection between multiple diversities into account.


In societal and academic debates, the transformation of European cities is connected to both migration and growing social inequality - see the EU Urban Agenda but also the ‘gilets jaunes’. This includes a focus on socioeconomic and ethnic segregation.


Governments seek to create social cohesion notwithstanding increasing diversity. This challenges the meaning and implications of citizenship as a legal category and of citizenship as the basis for (equal) participation, identity and belonging. This leads to questions about equal and special rights, and how this enables societies to deal with diversity.

Welfare states

The concept ‘welfare chauvinism’ was introduced in academic literature to describe calls for the restriction of immigration or immigrant rights. It has since been used in a broad sense and a variety of meanings, mostly to describe the claim – especially in highly developed welfare states - that the native population should get preferential rights over foreigners when it comes to social security arrangements. The claim is based on a cost-benefit argument: the welfare state can only be maintained if some people are excluded. This clashes with fundamental ideas about equality which formed the basis of the welfare state.