The Political Regulation of Diversity-Related Conflicts in the Public Space

Friday, July 14, 2017
Carnegie Room (University of Glasgow)
Juan Carlos Triviño-Salazar , Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals
Flora Burchianti , GRITIM-UPF
The accommodation of the diversity brought by immigrants has become a central issue in the political agenda of receiving societies in the last decades. In this context, the sub-national level and more specifically cities have emerged as arenas where people with diverse cultural, religious, national and ethnic backgrounds meet and interact. Yet, the management of real and perceived conflicts related to this growing diversity have been a concern for policy-makers and scholars. The present article aims to understand how local governments relate urban conflicts and social unrest to the negotiation of ethnic difference in the city. Through the comparative case study of two cities in Catalonia, Spain (Badalona and L'Hospitalet de Llobregat), it places the focus on institutions and on the vision that sustains policy-making which pretends to reach social cohesion or deter and solve urban or neighborhood conflicts through the regulation of cultural diversity. It defends a two-fold argument: first, local governments' policy-making is oriented by different repertoires of conflict regulation in their territory and second, the differences in these repertories, and the way they are related to the negotiation of ethnic difference, reflect context-specific dynamics imposed by local political elites.