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AIAS Conference

Diversity: Concept, Measurement, and Application

19-20 May 2022

This conference gathers scholars with expertise in diversity in various scientific disciplines and policy areas, ranging from biodiversity conservation and the protection of cultural heritage, to affirmative action and civil rights legislation. While diversity is central to a variety of scientific debates and has a substantial impact on a number of different policy areas, comparatively little research looks at diversity across domains. The conference wishes to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on diversity and trace both differences and communalities in the theoretical conceptualization, empirical measurement, and political implementation of this topic.

Keynote talk, 19 May at 15:30pm: Christian Joppke, University of Bern

Join online via zoom for the keynote: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/63461397790  

"Multiculturalism v. Diversity"

Karl Polanyi (1944) described the crisis of his time in terms of a “double movement”, the rise of “self-regulating markets” being accompanied by a protectionist counter-movement of its losers. Nancy Fraser (2017) pointed out that the current crisis is better conceptualized as a “triple movement”. That is, a new round of enhanced marketization and (this time around) ailing social protection has witnessed the arrival of a third player: “emancipation”, which is her word for the late 20th century minority rights movements growing out of the 1960s civil rights struggles This is a good lens for reflecting on contemporary multiculturalism. I argue that under the flag of “diversity”, multiculturalism has taken a sharp neoliberal turn, which deviates in important respect from the “liberal multiculturalism” that Will Kymlicka had canonized in the early 1990s.

Christian Joppke bio

Christian Joppke holds a chair in sociology at the University of Bern; for several years, he has also been a visiting professor in the Nationalism Program at CEU (Budapest), and a honorary professor in the politics department at Aarhus. His Ph.D. is in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley (1989). Previously he taught at the University of Southern California, European University Institute, University of British Columbia, International University Bremen, and the American University of Paris. He wrote extensively on social movements, immigration, citizenship, multiculturalism, religion, and nationalism and populism. His most recent book is Neoliberal Nationalism: Immigration and the Rise of the Populist Right (2021). He is currently writing a book to be entitled There is No Alternative: The Political Forms of Neoliberalism.


Thursday, May 19

15:30-16:00 Welcome and introduction of presenters

16:00-17:30 Keynote lecture (open to all members of the university)

'Multiculturalism v. Diversity': Christian Joppke, Sociology, University of Bern

Friday, May 20

9:00-10:30 Panel I

'Diversity Discourse over Time': Georg Toepfer: Philosophy, Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research

'Diversity and (Liberal) Democracy': Ewa Atanassow, Political Thought, Bard College Berlin

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

10:45-13:00 Panel II

'Cultural Heritage and Diversity': Casper Andersen, History of Ideas, Aarhus University

'Linguistic Diversity': Julia Sallabank, Linguistics, University of London

'Religious Diversity': Mar Griera, Sociology, Autonomous University of Barcelona

13:00-14:00 Lunch break (catering on site)

14:00-15:30 Panel III

'Human Genomic Diversity': Peter Wade, Anthropology, University of Manchester

'Biological Diversity': Stefan Bargheer, Sociology, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Panel IV

'Gender Diversity and LGBTQ Rights': Kelly Kollman, Political Science, University of Glasgow

'Diversity in Economic Thought': Hagen Schulz-Forberg, Global Studies, Aarhus University


The conference is open to all interested. There will be a registration fee for participating on both days of 150 DKK (20,16 Euros), which covers coffee, lunch etc. If you only wish to participate in the keynote lecture on Thursday 19 May, there will be no registration fee. 

Click here for registration.  


The conference is funded by Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University