Call For Papers: Diaspora, Diversity and Immigration
Conference Dates: April 24-25, 2024
Location: Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada
Abstract Submission Deadline: October 30, 2023
Language of Communication: English or French
While most liberal democratic states support diversity, diaspora, and immigration in significant ways, they are coming under increased pressure internally and externally to do more to realize these goals. In a democratized world, diversity and diaspora have also become important constituents of social and political discourse – and of contestation, considering the centuries of economic, racial, ethnic, and religious disparity, exploitation, and violence. It has been argued that more and more people are coming to Western countries because their homelands have been plundered before. An ethical and contextual understanding of current immigration patterns can help us strengthen diversity policies and protocols worldwide but conflating them can also trigger a backlash, “since levels of migrants and corresponding cultural change have been high and in some cases historically unprecedented [in recent decades]” (Francis Fukuyama, 2018, 133).
Human beings relocate for complex reasons and their motivations can never be reduced to mono-causality. Research shows that diasporas cite different reasons for their relocation to various countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, India, Israel, Brazil, Korea, and the European states. Some move to escape punishing poverty but others are driven by prospects of freedom and equality in these countries, hoping to build a better life for themselves and their families. Many also appreciate the liberal welfare states and egalitarianism, and are open to adjusting to ‘host societies’ in the pursuit of a productive future. Still others can see the West as morally oppressive and decadent, and engage in the reproduction of their ‘original homeland-conflicts’ in their adopted countries. Mechanisms to deal with these opposing and sometimes even hostile positions/groups, particularly when they come in conflict with one another, remain unclear in theory and practice, forcing many to take a very simplistic and reductionist binary position on such issues, without leaving much space for a critical reflection and thoughtful analysis. Yet, a democratic state must strike a meaningful balance between individual and collective rights, minority and majority groups, race and ethnicity, avoiding moral tension in its immigration policy and the common good.
Considering that the known responses of multiculturalism and interculturalism in Western political life, diversity theory and homogeneous ethos, and the pulls and pressures of diaspora politics have been said to result in “…a variety of coerced cultural-defense measures, thereby directing immigrants to embrace the values and customs of the dominant group [in various democratic countries]” (Liav Orgad, 2015, 6), this conference seeks to examine these issues and their impacts on liberal democracies. Acknowledging that an ethically acceptable immigration policy must remain in synch with well-known democratic values, including an unflinching support to diversity and diaspora, the rights of immigrants, refugees and other vulnerable individuals, we invite participants to engage in a constructive analysis of raised issues from their respective theoretical and practical standpoints and situatedness. Our goal is to develop a more accommodative and non-binary understanding of immigration and diversity, emphasizing the importance of cultural openness and mutual respect in minority and majority cultures at home and abroad.
We invite proposals for individual papers and round table discussions.
Please submit your abstract (150 words) and a short bio by October 30, 2023:Email: Diaspora-Diversity@ustpaul.ca
Abstracts will be reviewed regularly; decisions regarding acceptance will be announced by November 10, 2023, or earlier.
Topics include the following and related issues:
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Diaspora and the Reproduction of ‘Home’ Conflicts
- The Ethics of Identity, Culture and Immigration
- Interculturalism and Multiculturalism
- Welfare States and the Common Good
- Race, Sex, Gender and Border Control
- Nationalism, Pluralism and Democratic Citizenship
Register by January 20, 2024; for registration, please contact: Diversity-Diaspora@ustpaul.ca
- 120 Canadian Dollars for Presenters
- 100 Canadian Dollars for Attendees
- 50 Canadian Dollars for Students
Publication: Selected papers will be considered for publication in a journal, or an edited book.
Conference Chair: Dr. Rajesh C. Shukla, Associate Professor, School of Ethics, Social Justice and Public Service, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. Email: email@example.com