From minority protection to multiple diversity governance
From our analysis of case law on minority rights protection and the norm contestations between and within European national and supranational apex courts in Chapters 6 through 9, it becomes obvious that both our initial questions raised at the beginning of this book (why we should protect minorities of all kinds and how it would be possible to effectively protect them) still remain hotly contested. With the backlash against multiculturalism after 2010 and the growing ethnification and polarisation of and within European societies following from the electoral competition between all political parties in the left–right spectre of who can best curb immigration to Europe with permanent references in public discourse to the normative principles and values of the nation-cum-state paradigm, such as the need for the protection of national borders, national cultures and national identities, these initial basic questions become even more relevant as a political challenge for the future of democracy and rule of law within and beyond Europe. Is therefore the concept of social and system integration in categorical distinction to the theoretical sociological differentiations between cultural and structural assimilation that we presented in Chapter 5, section 5.2 only wishful thinking of ‘cosmopolitan utopianism’ (Vertovec and Wessendorf 2010b: 31) which does not recognise facts on the ground, namely problems and conflicts? In other words, multiculturalists would argue for a cultural relativism, underpinning their blindness. Instead of ‘harmonious integration’, the critics argue, multicultural policies end up in a vicious circle: multiculturalism fosters the preservation of cultural differences; this in turn leads to communal separateness, which deepens socioeconomic disadvantages and provides an incubator for extremism and terrorism (Rodriguez-Garcia 2010: 255).