The process of nation-building has generally been described in terms of struggles for territorial concentration of power, political participation and social rights. Many of these conflicts can be equated with the development of industrial society. Since then social and political alignments have experienced a great change. What could be deemed the simple diversity of industrial societies – allocation struggles along class lines within sovereign states – has given place to a new, complex diversity in which a variety of social, political and cultural cleavages overlap and compete for political legitimacy at a national and supranational level. This process draws on a range of related developments. One is how struggles for recognition replace or are imbricated with distributive struggles. Our concern is that within a context wherein the nation-state may no longer sustain its role as the dominant social organisation and mode of community, these cleavages may interact in such a manner as to pose particularly demanding challenges (but also offer possibilities) for the political authorities. Contemporary debates on multicultural citizenship, new civil rights, asymmetrical federalism, fundamentalism, etc. merely define the theoretical perimeters of such diversity. In addition, globalisation and the long-term crisis of the welfare state have eroded the social and political alliances that helped to create the welfare state as the expression of a European way of life, with its understanding of social entitlements and public-run schemes of social redistribution as an extension of the idea of citizenship.
The project has singled out four issue-areas which will be examined in depth in order to achieve a clearer sense of complex diversity, its implications for public policy, and policy suggestions/prescriptions:
1) linguistic diversity,
2) de-territorialized diversity,
3) religious diversity, and
4) diversity and redistribution.
Although none of these issues is strictly a new field of study, our comprehensive and comparative approach gives the programme an innovative edge.
At the same time, the programme is organized in a way that makes for a high degree of inter-connectivity between the four thematic sections. Thus, it will be an important task to reflect on the differences between languages and religions (sections 1 and 3) when it comes to articulating a common public sphere based on liberal and democratic principles. In a similar way, the issue of language is closely related to the cultural dynamics which underlie the formation of de-territorialized social and political spaces (section 2) and are relevant for articulating transnational and subnational collective actors (section 4). In order to allow an autonomous flow of research, each section has a coordinator and a core group of collaborators, plus guest specialists from the other teams and a changing set of external speakers.
Download RECODE information brochure here: RECODE Brochure
The Euro-Canadian focus of the programme will be made possible through the participation of Canadian specialists in each team, either as coordinators, research members or as guest speakers.
RECODE is made possible due to the contributing support from the following 13 member organizations:
Austria – Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung in Österreich (FWF) – Austrian Science Research Fund
Belgium – Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) – National Fund for Scientific Research
Denmark – Det Frie Forskningsråd – Samfund og Erhverv (FSE) – The Danish Council for Independent Research – Social Sciences
Secretariat by:Forsknings- og Innovationsstyrelsen (FI) – The Danish Agency for Science, Technolody and Innovation