Concepts and Theories

The ACCEPT PLURALISM project discusses the concepts of tolerance, secularism, multiculturalism, liberalism, republicanism, citizenship, national identity and the ways in which these concepts provide for appropriate perspectives in thinking about cultural, religious and ethnic diversity and finding suitable normative answers to the challenges that diversity poses to European democracies. 



Tolerance and cultural diversity in Europe: theoretical perspectives and contemporary developments

Jan Dobbernack and Tariq Modood, drawing on contributions from Veit Bader, Iseult Honohan, Per Mouritsen,Tore Vincents Olsen, Werner Schiffauer and Anna Triandafyllidou

Work Package 2: Concepts and Theories on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity -D2.1. State of the Art Report: Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe


Advances on the Theory of Tolerance in Europe

The conceptual point of departure for ACCEPT Pluralism is the distinction between (1) intolerance, (2) toleration and (3) various other, more demanding arrangements that exceed the minimalism of tolerance such acceptance, accommodation and respect. On the basis of this minimalist distinction between three ‘classes’ of acceptance, we draw attention to boundary issues – claims, conflicts and contestations – that arise in between the refusal and the concession of tolerance and between toleration and more demanding responses, such as full equality, or contested conceptions of a more demanding type of ‘acceptance’, including recognition and respect. The empirical work that has been completed in the project has established a considerable variety of ways in which boundaries of acceptance become an issue, often in response to claims put forward by minority groups but also when more narrow boundaries of tolerance are drawn in response to allegedly intolerable minority demands. Against the background of this work, the present report revisits and adds our perspective on tolerance/toleration. Instead of offering a comprehensive review of the literature on these issues, we ask what lessons can be drawn from our project for the conceptual, theoretical and philosophical study of tolerance.

Advances on the Theory of Tolerance in Europe



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Project Coordinator:
Prof. Anna Triandafyllidou,
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (European University Institute)

Funded by: the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme, Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities

Duration: 1 March 2010-31 May 2013

Disclaimer: the views expressed in this web site do not necessarily reflect the views of the E. C.