What is necessary for a multicultural society to work? This has emerged as an important question for politicians and researchers alike, as liberal democracies in the West have grown increasingly ethnically diverse. In this project we are interested in exp loring this issue by comparing multiethnic urban districts in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Are there districts that fare better than others on indicators for societal success and cohesion, such as inter-personal trust, crime rates and participation? How ca n variation in institutional, cultural and religious practices at the local level contribute to our understanding of the different outcomes?
We want to investigate these issues by combining perspectives from social science and the humanities. In medio Ma rch 2012 we will conduct a workshop/conference where the research partners come together and discuss how this project can be carried out, and how independent sub-projects under the general topical umbrella might look like. An important goal with the confe rence will be to develop a common perception of what the research project is about among the participants. In addition, comparative research faces a number of methodological challenges. By learning from researchers who have done similar research we hope t o clarify the methodological issues, and be able to develop a sound research design. We will also explore how we can combine perspectives from social science and the humanities.
After the conference the network will continue to develop the research proje ct.