Building on a comparative study of the urban ‘adaptations’ of multiculturalism in eight European cities, this paper addresses four questions: 1) the changing relations between national and local immigrant policies; 2) the ways in which such policies are locally reshaped; 3) the involvement of civil society in the urban governance of immigration; 4) the advent, in some cases, of local policies of immigrant exclusion. Overall, local policies seem to have been less affected by the multiculturalist backlash than a commonsense understanding would entail; but they are in search of a new language. Diversity could be an answer to this issue.
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