Multiculturalism - How can society deal with it?



Paleis der Academiën, Brussel

Multiculturalism - How can society deal with it?


Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten

Activiteit in het kader van de Denkerscyclus 

This symposium reflected on the complex theme of multiculturalism, more specifically: multiple identities in conflict and/or harmony.

Thinkers in Residence Tariq Modood and Frank Bovenkerk presented their draft report and ask stakeholders and experts were able to respond.

Can we create new national stories so that all citizens, regardless of their background, can have a sense of belonging to the national community? If schools are a micro cosmos of society - should they reflect the diversity of society? How can crime and terrorism be confronted? 

Recent decades have been characterised by a growing polarisation in Europe on questions of immigration and integration and a lot of fear amongst the public about the infringement upon their way of life. In defining their stances majorities tend to rely more on their own fear rather than knowledge of what is going on in the world of minorities. The Thinkers Programme aims to initiate a reflection on the subject of muliculturalism as a mode of political accommodation of minorities formed by immigration into Belgium (and Flanders in particular) as well as of the majority population. The subject will be dealt with on two levels: (political) theory and the problems of practice. 



01 Welcome 09:00 - 09:10
Godelieve Laureys, Chair of the Class of Humanities (speaker)

02 Introduction 09:10 - 09:30
Marie-Claire Foblets, Coordinator Thinkers Programme (speaker)
The Thinkers will start each session with a comment on their view as described in the draft report. The respondents are invited to react on this draft followed by a discussion in each session.
03 Modes of Integration, Multiculturalism and National Identities 09:30 - 11:30
Orhan Agirdag, KU Leuven, Education and Society (speaker)
Dirk Jacobs, ULB, GERME Institut de Sociologie (speaker)
Patrick Loobuyck, UAntwerp, Centre Pieter Gillis (speaker)
Tariq Modood, Thinker in Residence (speaker)
Leen Verraest, Director-general Flemish Agency for Civic Integration (speaker)

04 Coffee break 11:30 - 11:50
05 Religious Diversity in a Secular Society; with special reference to Education in Flanders (part I) 11:50 - 13:20
Jozefien De Leersnyder, KU Leuven, Social and Cultural Psychology (speaker)
Leni Franken, UAntwerp, Centre Pieter Gillis (speaker)
Elias Hemelsoet, GO! Education of the Flemish Community (speaker)
Tariq Modood, Thinker in Residence (speaker)
Chris Wyns, Flemish Catholic Education (speaker)
06 Lunch break 13:20 - 14:10
07 Religious Diversity in a Secular Society; with special reference to Education in Flanders (part II) 14:10 - 14:40
08 Multicultural Diversity and Delinquency in Belgium 14:40 - 16:40
Frank Bovenkerk, Thinker in Residence (speaker)
Marleen Easton, UGent, research group 'Governance of Security', Faculty of Economics (speaker)
Annalisa Gadaleta, Alderman Molenbeek (speaker)
Stefaan Pleysier, KU Leuven, Leuven Institute of Criminology (speaker)
Alexander van Leuven, KU Leuven, IMMRC (speaker)
09 Discussion on the draft paper as a whole 16:40 - 17:10
10 Conclusions 17:10 - 17:20
Ron Lesthaeghe, Coordinator Thinkers Programme (speaker)
11 Reception 17:20 - 17:20