This blog reproduces an interesting article/interview with Deakin Media coordinator Sandra Kingston about our recent national symposium on multiculturalism (held on 6 July 2012).
'Nice in Theory: conference asks is research playing a part in multicultural policy making?'
A national symposium to be held at Deakin University this Friday will examine whether there is a disconnect between government policy surrounding multiculturalism in Australia and academic thought and if so what needs to be done about it.
While in Barcelona for a scoping conference to set up a new research institute for the UN 'Alliance of Civilisations', I was asked how it is that culture should be looked at and taken more seriously in economic debates.
My take on this complex question is not a simple one. In fact, we can argue easily that a lack of appreciation for cultural specificities can easily derail the best development programs even those with the best of intentions. This is a no brainer!
But we can also argue that the prevalence of 'intercultural tensions' and conflicts can damage a country's efforts to improve its lot economically. We can look at countries in Africa, the Middle East and South/West Asia to realise this.