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Societies and Spaces in Contact

Between Convergence and Divergence

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Edited By Milan Bufon, Tove H. Malloy and Colin Williams

This volume represents an inter-disciplinary discussion of some fundamental categories of convergence and divergence, focusing in particular on issues of both social integration and devolution related to ethnos as the space of identity, and demos as the space of polity. The aims of the book are to assess past developments within crucial parts of Central Europe where both conflict and coexistence potentials seem to best represent the actual “unity in diversity” managing dilemma in the continent; to provide an analysis of current approaches to minority protection, language planning, spatial and social cross-border and inter-cultural policies; and to develop an evaluation of the future trends and opportunities for co-operation and re-integration within a local and broader operational context.

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Towards a Comprehensive Local Integration Policy: The Example of Slovene Istria (Mirna Buić)

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Mirna Buić

Throughout history, migration has been a constant in human society’s development, which has made our communities multicultural. Multiculturalism means the presence of several cultures that are not necessarily interconnected. If we want to overcome this disconnection, we must strive to (co)create an intercultural society and approach diversity in a planned, organized, and systematic way, to achieve coexistence with all people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds – both with people who have always lived in our environment, as with people who have joined us lately.

Local communities are changing rapidly, and modern migration can trigger new challenges within them. “Bridging different groups of urban residents with diverse cultural background is thus one of the major challenges that contemporary cities, their societies and governments have to face.” (Marconi 2016, p. 7). Only those communities that will be capable of open thinking in the direction ←201 | 202→of an inclusive society and will enable constructive dialogue between different actors, immigrants, and locals, and their equal active participation in all spheres of social life will be successful. It requires both an intercultural approach to managing diversity and immigrants’ inclusion and developing a local intercultural integration policy. After all, the process of inclusion of immigrants takes place first and foremost at the local level.

Big cities, which represent the most common destinations for immigrants, have become increasingly “superdiverse” (Vertovec 2007) and have been predominantly the focal point of debates about inclusion of immigrants. In comparison, smaller...

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