Pluralism in the Modern World: Developments, Opportunities, Challenges, Threats

Panel Code
RC16.02
Language
English
Discussants

The world around us has transformed enormously in recent decades. Technology has evolved rapidly and set off major changes in the way we work, communicate and travel. These lifestyle adaptations have been accompanied by huge demographic, cultural and economic shifts - some groups of people have undergone fast economic growth and increasing wealth, while other experienced stagnation or even economic deterioration and/or crisis. Last but not least several serious political changes have taken place, including both positive shifts (peace processes, international integrations etc.) and negative backlashes (wars, conflicts, secessions etc.). In this new world very few things have remained unchanged or even stable.
It is no surprise then that modern societies have also transformed in regard to their pluralism. Many of them have pluralised quite significantly (especially culturally), predominantly due to technological developments, but also because of migrations. Others have undergone opposite processes of (forced) unification or homogenisation. These processes raise the question of what the ‘state of pluralism’ is around the world in our times.
Consequently, the main objective of this panel is to explore the ‘state of pluralism’ across the globe in our times. Several questions needs to be empirically addressed: How pluralist is the current world? Is it more pluralist than earlier? How much variance of pluralism do we observe around us? What are the main correlates of pluralism nowadays? Which are the main impediments and barriers? Which cultural, social, technological, economic, religious and political factors strengthen pluralism, and which hinder it?
We are primarily interested in empirical papers addressing the abovementioned questions. Particularly welcome are comparative papers, which discuss the issue of pluralism comparatively and offer general, universal explanations of the phenomena observed. But interesting and insightful case studies are also appreciated.