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Fourth Conference "Diversity in cities: New models of governance”

The fourth Conference was held on 16-17 September 2008 and organised by IPRS in Rome, Italy. The Conference focused on the governance of diversity by public bodies and local government, with particular emphasis on the potential for city governance to contribute to the sustainability of diversity. The Conference started a discussion of how diversity cannot only be measured and understood, but actively managed in order to foster the development of diverse and dynamic cities.

Keynote speeches introduced the oral contributions from young researchers from all over Europe.


The following four topics were addressed:
  1. Maps and indicators of diversity. Tools for good governance. Good governance is dependent upon valid and relevant information. This session welcomes papers that address indicators or means of measuring and conceptualizing diversity in a manner that is useful for public bodies and local policymakers for the sake of identifying and localizing residents’ needs (e.g., social services, language support, childcare for working mothers) and appropriate responses. Keep in mind that diversity does not just refer to immigrants or different ethnic groups, but also demographics such as age and gender and the roles that these different groups take on within the community.
  2. Theory and models of governance. This session welcomes papers that address the application and relevance of current theories and models of governance to problems/challenges posed by diversity. Are these models and theories adequate? What changes or modifications are called for? What are their implications for sustainable diversity?
  3. Fostering sustainability from the top down: governance in practice. The scope of governance extends beyond understanding the population mix to seeking out means to address community needs and problems; thereby fostering community stability and sustainability. This session welcomes papers that address the impact of governmental policies and practices—at the city level— on the sustainability of diversity or present innovative policies formulated to address the needs and challenges posed by an increasingly diverse population while taking advantage of the opportunities and strengths that such a population provides.
  4. Sustainability from the bottom up: civic participation in governance. Governance in democratic societies requires the direct and indirect participation of diverse groups of citizens. This session focuses on the inclusion of diverse groups in governance (e.g., right to vote in local elections, employment by government bodies) and general level of civic participation. Particular focus should be placed on the level of inclusion/marginalisation of migrants, women and other disadvantage groups and the impact on the sustainability of diversity.

DOCUMENTS available for download:


PUBLICATIONS available for download:


  • Working Papers more
  • Newsletter, 4th issue, November 2008 more


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