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  • Author or Editor: Maurizio Ambrosini x
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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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This chapter, building on a comparative study of immigration policies at the urban level in Europe, addresses the present state of multiculturalist approaches and their adaptations at the local level after the ‘multiculturalism backlash’ in most political discourse. In recent years, immigration policies in most European countries have been intended to reaffirm both the control of external borders and the values of identity and national belonging, and particularly so since 2001. Especially in the case of non-skilled, third country nationals, this approach can be defined as neo-assimilationist. This change in immigration policies goes hand in hand with growing disaffection with multiculturalism, at least as a discourse, in the European political debate. The chapter then analyses the relations between national frameworks and urban policies, the changing labels and the forms of continuity of local immigration policies, the involvement of civil society actors, and the appearance of local policies of exclusion. It suggests that diversity could be the new framework within which multiculturalist stances can be reshaped.

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