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The Challenges of Multiculturalism in the Eastern and Central Europe

 Call for Papers

One of the challenges the countries from the Central and Eastern Europe have to face constantly after the fall of communism in the 1990s is the internal and external diversity of the populations. The regrettable example of the ex-Yugoslavian space has shown that any attempt at questioning one’s (ethnic, religious) belonging in the name of a presumed “national” homogeneity is a steady source of violence and open conflict. In the same time, the populations from this area of the world are remarkably mixed, due to the heritages of a controversial history. To take a single example, the Romanian one: apart from the Romanians, here live Hungarians, Germans, Roma, Jews, to name the most well-known nationalities from a list of around 20.
One possible way of dealing with the diversity is the multicultural solution, which has been embraced in many forms by states as different as the USA, Canada, Australia and so on. Multiculturalism as a politics of cohabitation represents a challenging way of managing not only the ethnic diversity (though this is by far its mostly well-known hypostasis) but also the other forms of diversity (the religious one, the sexual one, etc.).
Yet, multiculturalism is by no means a unique way of responding to the identity solicitations of someone: the various types in which it comes – “multiculturalism of rights” (Kymlicka, Kukathas), “multiculturalism of recognition” (Ch. Taylor), “multiculturalism of fear” (Shklar) speak for many different ways of articulating the questions and the formulation of solutions. Some even speak of other labels – “interculturalism”, “trans-culturalism” as being more or less appropriate to the same issues. What is the difference between these labels and which (if any) one is more suitable to propose its solutions to the situation in the ex-communist Eastern states? Is it possible to “export” multiculturalism in Eastern states? Or maybe to “adapt” it?

The topic and issues of multiculturalism represent the research object of several categories of disciplines, such as political science, sociology, philosophy, history and so on. In the same time, it constitutes the basic theory for many practitioners, ranging from politicians to representatives of NGOs. Through this project, we attempt at facilitating the encounter and the dialogue among all these types of people, in a 3-day workshop and consequently in a volume with the texts and discussions. In this way, we expect to benefit from an interdisciplinary meeting where both the theoretical framework and the concrete cases should be put face to face. The invitation of specialists from the whole CEE region is meant to open up the discussion and to bring about the consolidation of a network of people connected by their topic of investigation.
In the same time, we intend to disseminate and multiply the information and the practical knowledge on these issues. This is why we plan to invite representatives of mass media to participate during the whole event, and to a press conference. It represents another reason for publicizing the results of the workshop in a volume.

Sections of the workshop:
1. Multicultural/ intercultural politics. Theoretical framework, challenges and opportunities.
2. The challenge and the reality of multiculturality in the CEE region. Case studies, threats and solutions.
3. Multicultural education. Achievements and prospects.

Iasi, Romania

28-30 October, 2004.

“Al. I. Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania
Open Society Foundation Romania
AXIS Foundation Publishing House


Asiminei Romeo, Student, UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Baghiu Bogdan ,PhD student, UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Biris Ioan, Prof., Ph.D. West University Timisoara, Timisoara , Romania

Bobb Vasile, PhD Student BBU, Cluj , Romania

Boztemur Recep , Asist. Prof. Chair, Middle East Studies, METU, Ankara , Ankara , Turkey

Carpinschi Anton Prof. Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Ceausu Felicia, George Ceausu, Junior Researcher, Institute of Academy

Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Chirila Ioan, Prof., Ph.D., Faculty of Orthodox Theology, BBU, Cluj , Romania

Clitan Gheorghe, Lect., Ph.D., West University Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania

Codoban Aurel, Prof., Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, BBU, Cluj , Romania

Crisan Horatiu Traian, Manager, European Research Institute, Babes-Bolyai University , Cluj , Romania

Cuceu Codruta Liana, Research assistant, PhD. Candidate, "George Barit" institute of history, department of social sciences, Cluj, Romania

Dinescu Ana, Journalist, ZIUA daily newspaper, Bucharest, Romania

Fischer Linda, Program Coordinator, OSF Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Frunza Mihaela, Assist. Lect., Ph.D., BBU, Cluj , Romania

Frunza Sandu, Assoc. Prof. Sandu Frunza, Ph.D., BBU, President of SACRI, Cluj , Romania

Garleanu Soit Daniela, Lect., Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi, Romania

Gavriluta Cristina, Assist. Lect., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Gavriluta Nicu, Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., UAIC; director SCIRI- Iasi, Iasi, Romania

Gesiak Leszek, Ph.D. student, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Krakow , Poland

Harosa Marius, Assist. Lect., BBU, Cluj , Romania

Ionescu Ion, Prof. . Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Irimescu Gabriela, Lect., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Istvan Peter, Assist. Lect., Faculty of Reformed Thoelogy, BBU, Cluj , Romania

Iuga Iulia, Ph.D. Student, BBU, Cluj , Romania

Lazar Claudiu , MA student, Dept. of Philosophy, UAIC;

Sociologist, Corona Foundation, Iasi , Romania

Moldovan Petru, PhD student, Faculty of European Studies, BBU, Cluj, Romania

Ognyanova Irina Lyubomirova, Research Associate, Institute of Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia , Bulgaria

Plamen Dimitrov, Member of The Board, Bulgarian Geopolitical Society, Sofia , Bulgaria

Pop Liviu, Program Assistant, SACRI, Cluj , Romania

Poruciuc Adrian , Prof. Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Prisac Lidia, Scientific Researcher, Moldavian Academy of Science, Institute of Interethnic Researches, Chisinau , Moldova

Radu Cosmin, Assistant, UAV, Cluj , Romania

Sazonova Liliya, Consultant, Animus Association Foundation, Sofia , Bulgaria

Schiopu Sorin, Editor, Radio Tg. Mures, Tg. Mures , Romania

Soitu Contiu , Lect. Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Spinei Angela, Senior Lecturer, State University of Moldova, Philosophy Dept., Chisinau, Moldova

Stan Dumitru , Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., UAIC, Iasi, Romania

Teodorescu Cristina , Assist. Lect., Petre Andrei University , Iasi , Romania

Thorne Ben, History Department, East European Field, Indiana University, Indiana , USA

Topan Mihaela, Inspector, BBU, Cluj , Romania

Trenchea Diana , Assoc. Assist., UAIC, Iasi , Romania

Voiculescu Cerasela, MA student, National School of Political and Administrative Sciences, Bucharest , Romania

Zidaric Vinko, President, nongovernmental association "Interculture – The Intercultural Centre”, Zagreb , Zagreb , Croatia

Agenda of the workshop

Thursday, 28 October 2004

12.00-24.00 Arrival & accommodation of participants

Gaudeamus Complex and Hotel

19.00-23.00 Welcome dinner

University House of Iasi

Friday, 29 October 2004


Welcoming remarks

Room of the Senate Prof. Dumitru Oprea, Ph.D., Rector of the Al. I. Cuza University

Dragos Seuleanu, President of the Romanian Radio Society

Assoc. Prof. Sandu Frunza, Ph.D., president of SACRI

Assoc. Prof. Nicu Gavriluta, Ph.D., director SCIRI Iasi

9.30-13.00 – First section of the workshop (plenary): Multicultural/ intercultural politics. Theoretical framework, challenges and opportunities.

Moderators: Anton Carpinschi, Recep Boztemur

Room of the Senate Speakers: Vinko Zidaric, Ioan Chirila, Istvan Peter, Adrian Poruciuc, Anton Carpinschi, Recep Boztemur, Marius Harosa


11.00-11.15 – Coffee break

13.00- 14.30 Lunch

Gaudeamus Restaurant

14.30-18.00 - Second section of the workshop (on panels): The challenge and the reality of multiculturality in the CEE region. Case studies, threats and solutions Panel 1. – Multimedia Lab

Panel 2. – Room 615

Panel 3. – Council Room of the Faculty of Philosophy

16.30-16.45 – Coffee break

14.30-18.00 Panel 1.

Uses and Abuses of Multicultural Politics in the CEE region. – Multimedia Lab Moderators: Vinko Zidaric, Ben Thorne

Speakers: Razvan Maties, Liliya Sazonova, Plamen Dimitrov, Irina Lyubomirova Ognyanova, Calin Cotoi William Ejalu, Gesiak Lesyek, Ben Thorne

Discussions. 14.30-18.00 Panel 2. Theorizing and Experiencing Multicultural Practices

Moderators: Sandu Frunza, Stefan Cojocaru

Speakers: Sandu Frunza, Contiu Soitu, Stefan Cojocaru, Vasile Bobb, Daniela Gârleanu Soitu, Petru Moldovan, Iulia Iuga, Cerasela Voiculescu, Mihaela Topan

Discussions. 14.30-18.00 Panel 3.

Multi-culturalism, Multi-cultures: Romanian Perspectives – Council Room of the Faculty of Philosophy

Moderators: Aurel Codoban, Nicu Gavriluta

Speakers: Aurel Codoban, Ioan Biris, Gheorghe Clitan, Nicu Gavriluta, Cristina Gavriluta, Ion Ionescu, Dumitru Stan, Angela Spinei.


19.30 – 23.00 Dinner

Saturday, 30 October 2004

9.00-12.30 – Third section of the workshop (on panels): The challenge and the reality of multiculturality in the CEE region. Multicultural education. Panel 4. – Council Room of the Faculty of Philosophy

Panel 5. – Multimedia Lab

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

9.00-12.30 Panel 4.

Inter/Multi¬cultu¬ralism in a Globalized World – Council Room of the Faculty of Philosophy

Moderator: Marius Harosa

Speakers: Ilinca Mircea, Claudiu Lazar, Diana Trenchea, Romeo Asiminei, Cristian Ziliberberg, Ana Dinescu, Sorin Schiopu, ungurul

Discussions. 9.00-12.30 Panel 5. Multicultural Prospects in/through Social Sciences - Multimedia Lab

Moderator: Adrian Poruciuc

Speakers: Lidia Prisac, Bogdan Baghiu, Cristina Teodorescu, Codruta Cuceu, Horatiu Crisan, Gabriela Irimescu, Roxana Havrici, Felicia Ceausu, George Ceausu, Liviu Pop


12.30-12.50 – Conclusions of the workshop (plenary)

Council Room of the Faculty of Philosophy

Remarks from the moderators

Conclusions of the workshop

Evaluation of the workshop


Council Room of the Faculty of Philosophy

Press Conference

Moderator: Nicu Gavriluta

14.00-16.00 Lunch

University House of Iasi


For supplementary information, please contact the seminar coordinators:
Project Coordinators:
Assoc. Prof. Sandu Frunza, Babes-Bolyai University, President of SACRI
Email: sfrunza@yahoo.com, sfrunza@hiphi.ubbcluj.ro
Phone: + 4 0741 676936

Assoc. Prof. Nicu Gavriluta, Al. I. Cuza University, SCIRI Iasi coordinator
Email: Nicolas@uaic.ro
Phone: +4 0740 545234

Project assistants:
Assist. Lect. Mihaela Frunza, Ph.D., Babes-Bolyai University
Executive Editor at JSRI
Email: mihafrunza@yahoo.com
Phone: +4 0744 698826

Liviu Pop, editor at Tribuna
Program assistant, Webdesigner of SACRI
Email: adresaluiliviu@yahoo.com