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ACCEPT PLURALISM - Tolerance, diversity and social cohesion. Responding to the challenges of the 21st century in Europe


In recent times, Europe has experienced increasing tensions between national majorities and ethnic or religious minorities, more particularly with marginalised Muslim communities. In some countries challenges relate more to immigrant groups while in other countries they refer to native minority claims. It is in this geopolitical context that the ACCEPT PLURALISM project responds to Topic 3.3.1 and notably in the quest for investigating whether European societies have become more or less tolerant and in the necessity to clarify:

  • how is tolerance defined conceptually;
  • how it is codified in norms, institutional arrangements, public policies but also social practices;
  • how tolerance can be measured and how the degree of tolerance of a society across time or of several countries at the same time can be compared (whose tolerance, who is tolerated, and what if degrees of tolerance vary with reference to different minority groups).

The project starts from a distinction between thin/liberal tolerance (not interfering with practices or forms of life of a person even if one disapproves of them) and thick/egalitarian tolerance referring to institutional arrangements and public policies that fight negative stereotyping, promote positive inclusive identities and re-organise the public space in ways that accommodate diversity. It reviews critically past empirical research and the scholarly theoretical literature on the topic. It conducts original empirical research on key events of national and European relevance that thematise different understandings and practices of tolerance. Bringing together empirical and theoretical findings, ACCEPT PLURALISM generates a set of Tolerance Indicators. These indicators will inform the evaluation and development of public policies in this area. The project includes direct communication and feedback mechanisms with civil society, political and media actors for the dissemination and exploitation of its findings.

Proposal: 243837
Funding scheme: Collaborative project (Small and medium scale focused research project)
Activity: Activity 3 - Major trends in society and their implications
Research area: Cultural interactions in an international perspective
Topic: Tolerance and cultural diversity
Estimated EC contribution: €2 600 230
Starting date: 01.03.2010
Duration: 40 months
Title:Tolerance, diversity and social cohesion. Responding to the challenges of the 21st century in Europe
Keywords: -
Web site:
Coordinator: European University Institute
IT – San Domenico di Fiesole
Partners' List:
  • University of Bristol
    Vince BOYLE
    UK – Bristol
  • Università degli Studi di Milano
    Giamprima STABILINI
    IT – Milano
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra
    Eva MARTÍN
    ES – Barcelona
  • International Center for Minority Studies
    and Intercultural Relations
    BG – Sofia
  • Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi
    Ayhan KAYA
    TR – Istanbul
  • Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques
    Daniela-Roxana VERMEL
    FR – Paris
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam Annemieke
    NL – Amsterdam
  • Lund University
    Hans-Ingvar ROTH
    SE – Lund
  • Stiftung Europäische
    Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
    Eckart BROCK
    DE – Frankfurt
  • National University of Ireland
    University College Dublin
    Donal DOOLAN
    IE – Dublin
  • Uniwersytet Im. Adama
    Mickiewicza W Poznaniu
    Michal BUCHOWSKI
    PL – Poznan
  • Aarhus Universitet
    DK – Aarhus
  • Romanian Academic Society
    RO – Bucharest
  • Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe
    Doris PESCHKE
    BE – Brussels
  • Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies
    Susana PAVLOU
    CY – Nycosia
  • Banlieues d’Europe
    Sarah LEVIN
    FR – Lyon
EC Scientific Officer: DG RTD.B
Contact: Louisa ANASTOPOULOU
Research achievements: ACCEPT PLURALISM - Addressing cultural, ethnic & religious diversity challenges in Europe - A comparative overview of 15 European countries ( 1MB)

ACCEPT PLURALISM - Handbook on tolerance & cultural diversity in Europe ( 1.64MB)

Publishable summary of the ACCEPT PLURALISM project - 01 March 2010 - 31 August 2011 ( 281KB)