Book review: Interculturalism in Cities: Concept, Policy, and Implementation by Ricard Zapata-Barrero.

AuthorGood, Bradley
PositionBook review

Zapata-Barrero, Ricard, ed. Interculturalism in Cities: Concept, Policy, and Implementaton. Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2015. xvi + 200 pages. Hardcover, $110.00.

Interculturalism in Cities: Concept, Policy, and Implementation is a highly useful addition to current integration and immigration literature, applicable to a wide range of social science disciplines. Represented within this text are articles from political scientists, urban planning experts, sociologists, and public policy specialists. These various papers come together to provide a picture of interculturalism as both a theoretical concept and a functional policy. Scholarly research on this topic is still in its infancy and currently "occurring at a largely rhetorical level" which makes this book very valuable to the field (p. viii). Theories of interculturalism abound, but very little work has been done on how these ideas can be applied in real-world contexts, in either governmental policy or local implementation. Zapata-Barrero and the other authors of the book take a major step toward advancing this goal.

The articles in Interculturalism in Cities: Concept, Policy, and Implementation are split into two main sections: (1) From Concept to Policy (Chapters 1-5), and (2) From Policy to Implementation (Chapters 6-10). This underscores the main purpose of the book, which is to take the concept of interculturalism out of the abstract and into the practical. In Part 1, political scientist Zapata-Barrero addresses major holes in the current intercultural paradigm. Specifically he provides a theoretical framework for encouraging interaction between different groups. Political scientists Caponio and Ricucci discuss the merits of interculturalism as a successful tool to guide policy at a local or city level. Rocher, also a political scientist, compares and contrasts governmental diversity policy in Montreal and Barcelona. Wood, an urban planning specialist, discusses how cities can facilitate interaction among diverse groups through adjusting their physical infrastructure. Cantle, an honorary professor of politics, ends the first section of the book by bridging the gap between theory and implementation.

In Part 2 of the book, Ludwinek, a research manager for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND), begins the application section by discussing European understandings of diversity, as shown through mass surveys conducted by her organization...

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