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Intercultural Dialogue and Multi-level Governance in Europe

A Human Rights Based Approach

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Edited By Léonce Bekemans

This book offers an interdisciplinary and in-depth analysis of the relationship between intercultural dialogue and multi-level governance, seen from a human rights-based perspective. It brings together papers that were originally presented at international workshops organised by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the University of Padua in 2010-2011 with some additional contributions. The authors deal with a broad and diversified framework of concepts, policy approaches and linkages between multi-level governance and intercultural dialogue, particularly in the fields of education and civil society participation. The volume follows a multi-disciplinary approach and presents these readings and reflections for an audience of scholars, as well as individuals and organisations interested in issues around human rights, governance, education and civil society. Its innovative approach addresses the complex issues of today’s societies, which are in need of sustainable, coherent and responsible answers at both the conceptual and the policy level.
In short, the book proposes a reading of interconnecting trajectories from governance building, education and civil society to intercultural dialogue in Europe. It is grounded in a human rights perspective and responds to the need for a policy-oriented but value-driven European future.

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General Introduction

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Léonce BEKEMANS I. Premises Various political, economic, social and cultural processes of transformation are taken place in the era of globalisation. Europe presents itself to this globalising world with an immense wealth of cultural, social and linguistic diversities. However, in today’s global era Europe is confronted with the preoccupation and responsibility to maintain its proper socio-economic model of integration and diversity in the rapidly changing world system. Within this context the shared values which bind societies together, such as freedom, loyalty, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, tolerance and solidarity, are crucial for Europe’s future. However, all the changes and uncertainties felt in the political, economic, social and cultural areas call for a safeguarding of these values through (innovative) institutional mechanisms and true policies of internal and external dialogues. We are confronted with a cultural environment that is rapidly trans- forming and becoming more diversified. The management of cultural diversities in societies becomes crucial. This requires a real dialogue, fertile but open to cultures and peoples within and outside Europe, but also a better understanding of formal, informal and non-formal learning processes and education practices to dialogue, citizenship and human rights as well as various forms of civil participation. The term of dialogue touches many aspects and problems of cohesive and sustainable society building. This also represents one of the major challenges for a development of a new plural and democratic citizenship in Europe. Intercultural dialogue has sense to the extent that the sharing of values is translated...

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