UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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UNESCO-MOST Multicultural Policies and Modes of Citizenship in European Cities (MPMC)


Volume 1
Nr. 2, October 1998

This Newsletter is presented by the:



This Newsletter is presented to you by the IMES. It is meant to inform all participants of and those interested in the UNESCO-MOST MPMC-project on topics and developments concerning the programme. It will appear as many times a year as necessary, depending on the developments of the programme.

The MPMC project is formally adopted by the UNESCO-MOST programme since 1996. In the research project social scientists from a variety of disciplines will undertake research and comparative analysis within selected urban contexts characterised by a substantial presence and activity of immigrant and ethnic minority groups. Working with policy makers and members of local organisations, their task is to access the development and interplay of both ‘bottom-up’ (community led) initiatives and ‘top-down’ (municipality created) policies aimed at better integrating immigrant and ethnic minorities in public decision making processes. Of central concern to the project are what we shall term ‘channels of activation and mobilisation’ in European cities; that is, organisations, actions or institutions through which immigrant and ethnic minority communities (are supposed to) make their interests and concerns known to municipal decision-makers and other significant actors in the various societal domains. The key-questions to be answered by all research teams can be summarised as follows; how do local authorities activate immigrants and ethnic minorities to participate in political decision making in general, and in relation to their position in particular; how do immigrants and ethnic minority members mobilise to improve their position and to influence policies relating to that position; how do activation policies of authorities and mobilisation of immigrants and ethnic minorities interact?

To ensure international comparative research the project will have to take stock of all particularities of a city in the form of so called city templates during the first phase. The cities are not only embedded as cities in national units that differ in several aspects; they supposedly have a special history and profile as well, as a local unit in the political, economic and cultural sense. Histories of immigration and composition of the immigrant population differ significantly, and consequently also policies relating to it. The city templates will have a double function. For the research teams it will serve primarily as a starting point for the field research of the project, for policy makers it will provide a first inventory of possibilities and experiences in the field. The city templates were due for July 1st, 1998. The first workshop on the field research itself is planned for April 1999.

The MPMC project is co-ordinated by Dr. Marco Martiniello (Liege), Prof. Dr. Rinus Penninx (IMES, University of Amsterdam) and Dr. Steven Vertovec (Oxford University). The secretariat of the MPMC project is founded at the IMES under co-ordination of Mrs. Karen Kraal.

City Templates

Revised city templates

At the Amsterdam Workshop of October 1997 the first drafts of the city templates were presented. Based on these a new general framework was designed to guide the research efforts and to ensure minimal comparability. The revised city templates following this outline were due to be ready by July 1st 1998. By now we have received eleven CT’s, namely those of Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Cologne (in German), Leicester, Lisbon, Marseilles, Milan, Rome, Rotterdam and Turin. Four CT’s are reported to be underway: Antwerp, Brussels, Liège and Zurich.

We are glad to have three enthusiastic new participants: Athens, Cologne and Lisbon. They were the first teams to deliver the city templates to the secretariat of the MPMC project.

Editorial committee

An editorial committee will analyse and edit the templates and write an introduction and conclusion. Four participants of the project have agreed to form the editorial group that will prepare the publication of the CT’s: John Crowley, Marco Lombardi, Alisdair Rogers and Jean Tillie. The editorial committee may go back to the research teams that contributed the city templates with concrete proposals for amendments, abbreviations or extensions. The publication is (as yet) due to be ready in December 1998.


In the project it is envisaged that in a number of cases it is possible and worthwhile to establish more specific comparisons between a limited number of cities on specific well-defined research topics and questions. Research teams that join forces to do specific comparisons are called ‘clusters’.

Cluster 1. Analysis of immigrant/ethnic minority organisational networks and their liaison with city-officials; co-ordinators: dr. Meindert Fennema and dr. Jean Tillie of the University of Amsterdam.

Migrant communities are characterised by their own internal structure. In this research project, the structure of migrant communities is interpreted as the structure of the social network of migrant organisations. The study focuses on the question to what extent the structure of the network of migrant organisations can be explained from the interaction between the ‘political opportunity structure’ (i.e. the structure of local government institutions and the policy with respect to migrant organisations) and the objectives of the migrant organisations themselves. Through an international comparative analysis of the interaction between local government policy with respect to ethnic organisations and the objectives of these organisations themselves, the research will result in a better understanding of (the determinants of) the structure of migrant communities.

This allows for a clearer identification of transformation- and mobilisation processes within these communities. In addition, the results of the research can be used in detailed ‘community power’ studies of the concerning cities.

To facilitate comparative analysis, the same research design to study the organisation of migrant organisations should be used for all countries. This cluster is now implemented in Liège, Zürich and Amsterdam. Two students from the University of Amsterdam will in collaboration with the MPMC participant institutions Swiss Forum for Migration Studies (Andreas Wimmer) and CEDEM of the University of Liège (Marco Martiniello) conduct a research in respectively Zürich and Liège in the period September-November 1998.

Cluster 2. Immigrant and ethnic minority politicians and the development of an active citizenship; co-ordinator dr. Marco Martiniello of the University of Liège.

In many European countries, the issue of the presence of ethnic politicians in elected offices at the various level of power (from the city councils to Parliament and national government in some cases) has recently emerged as a crucial issue for the political inclusion/exclusion process affecting immigrant ethnic groups. Does this 'new' phenomenon translate a new phase in the politicization of ethnicity among these groups? Does it call for a reconstruction of national identities of majority groups? Are 'ethnic politicians' the 'natural' representatives of 'their' community or are they just on this matter like any other non-ethnic politician? Do they encourage political communitarinism or do they promote assimilation within a renewed conception of citizenship?

This cluster addresses these issues both at the theoretical and empirical level. At the theoretical level, it adopts an perspective combining an instrumentalist and constructional approach to ethnicity, on the one hand, and stresses, on the other hand, the crucial role of the structure of political opportunities in shaping both the patterns of ethnic mobilisation and the political inclusion processes of ethnic politicians in each of the case-studies.

At the empirical level, a comparative approach based on in-depth interviews and in-site observation of ethnic politicians’ action should be developed in up to 5 cities included in the project.

Cluster 3. The state, the city and the role of voluntary organisations in local multi ethnic community integration: a comparative perspective; co-ordination Prof. Carl-Ulrich Schierup of the University of Umeå.

 There was a misunderstanding concerning the subject and the working title of this cluster. The subject must be, as mentioned above. The research team of Stockholm has the intention to develop ideas and action related to this cluster in the beginning of 1999. Their whole (national) team is presently occupied with tasks (in Stockholm) of a more broad documentary nature. After 1 January next year Irene Molina will be able to devote a good deal of her energy and time to the subject, Carl Shierup shall co-operate with her, in particular concerning the conceptual/theoretical dimensions of the problem.

If you want to express your interest in one of these clusters, please contact the co-ordinator (see addresslist).

Financial Matters

The following countries have made an application for the PP-programme at UNESCO-central; Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. A positive decision has been taken by UNESCO-central regarding the applications for the PP-programme of Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden. The United Kingdom will probably be financed and the application of Belgium is re-negotiated but still not sure.



On the 25-26th of September 1998 Mrs. Karen Kraal has attended the General Meeting of LIA in Brussels. LIA (Local Integration Partnership Action) is a three year pilot initiative created by three co-ordinating partners: the European Centre for Work and Society, the Quartiers en Crise Association and the Eurocities Network. The overall aim of LIA is to launch, co-ordinate, animate and evaluate twenty-four innovative pilot projects run by local authorities on the integration of migrants and ethnic minorities in Europe. In the workshops that Mrs. Karen Kraal attended the following topic was discussed; the role of migrant and ethnic minority organisations in local projects. Mainly policy makers attended this conference representing various projects concerning the integration of ethnic minorities in (among others); Antwerp, Brussels, Bradford, Barcelona, Berlin, Liège, Lisbon, Köln and Turin. The MPMC project will stay in contact with the co-ordination of LIA.


From November the 30th till December the 3rd (1998) representatives of the MPMC project will attend the third international Metropolis conference in Israel. This conference aims to intensify discussions between senior policy experts and leading academics in the field of immigration, integration and ethno-racial diversity. The conference features interactive plenaries along with sixteen concurrent, highly-focused workshops all examining critical social, economic and political issues with an emphasis on their metropolitan context.

A special workshop ‘Political Participation across Immigrant and Ethnoracial Communities; Comparing World Cities’ is organised by prof. Siemiatycki from Toronto (Ryerson Polytechnic University). Of the MPMC-project the following five research teams were invited: Zurich/Switzerland, dr. Andreas Wimmer,Milan/Italy, dr. Marco Lombardi,Stockholm/Sweden, dr. Carl-Schierup, Irene Molina, Liege/Belgium, dr. Marco Martiniello, Amsterdam/Netherlands, dr. Rinus Penninx. Research teams, however, are required to secure financial support independently.

Recapitulation of time and deliveries

December 1st, 1998: Publication and dissemination of edited city templates
January 1st 1999:  Draft reports of research based on the general framework
April 1999: Workshop of research teams in order to:
- prepare workshop with policy makers;
- prepare publications based on results; 
- develop research programme
June 1999: Workshop with representatives of ELAINE, Wohnbund and policymakers of the cities concerned.
May-October 1999: Preparation of publications


Included with this newsletter you will find an appendix containing addresses of all the participants and researchers involved in the project as well as the names of those interested in the project. If you have addresses of people of institutions that you think should be on the mailing list of the MPMC Newsletter, please send them to Mrs. Karen Kraal of the secretariat of the MPMC project.

We want to invite you to send us all information which you think is important to bring to the attention of all participants. The central person of the secretariat is Drs. Karen Kraal, her email address is Kraal@pscw.uva.nl

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