One of the greatest challenges for art and culture, sounded by intellectuals and also by funding bodies, is to represent diversity. But what precisely does this term mean and why does it so often placate rather than produce what it names? Professor Steven Vertovec, Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen, Germany) puts forward the notion of “super-diversity,” noting “the need to re-evaluate conceptions and policy measures surrounding diversity by way of moving beyond an ethno-focal understanding and adopting a multidimensional approach.”
Developing this idea further, while aiming to question and complicate the focus on immigration in the current debate, the prolific and provocative scholar and activist Tariq Ramadan weighs in on the subject. In the resulting essay, translated into Dutch and Arabic, Professor Ramadan sets out an argument that foregrounds universalism as a necessary, if devalued, horizon and offers a critique of the uses and limits of dialogue and discourse within the day-to-day practice of super-diversity.
On Super-Diversity constitutes the second book of the Reflections series, co-published with Witte de With. Each edition, consisting of a specially commissioned essay, engages a leading thinker in reconsidering one key question that defines contemporary culture.