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Om Blurred Boundaries
First published in 1999, this volume examines new forms of cultural diversity which result from migration and globalization. Historically, most liberal democracies have developed on the basis of national cultures - either a single one, or a dominant one, or a federation of several ones. However, political and economic developments have upset traditional patterns and have blurred established boundaries. Ongoing immigration from diverse origins has inserted new ethnic minorities into formerly homogenous populations. Democratic liberties and rights provided opportunities for old and new marginalized minorities to resist assimilation and to assert identities. The resulting pattern of multiculturalism is different from earlier ones. Often cultural boundaries are neither clearly defined nor do they simply dissolve by assimilation into a dominant group - they have become fuzzy and a constant source of real or imagined hostility and anxiety. A proliferation of mixed identities goes together with stronger claims for cultural rights and escalating hostilities between ethnic minorities and national majorities. In many countries multiculturalism is today perceived as a challenge rather than as an enrichment. The book focuses on the question how institution and policies of liberal democracies can cope with these trends.The book addresses two tasks:1) To compare different national contexts and types of ethnic groups (immigrant and indigenous, linguistic and religious minorities) and to discuss how policies of multicultural integration have to be adapted in order to cope with such differences.2) To evaluate the impact of common rends of globalization which link societies and encourage convergence between national models of multicultural integration.