An International Relations Analysis of Citizenship and Intercultural Dialogue among Minority Youth in Berlin and London: A Levels-of-Analysis Approach
Difato, Christine Anne
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
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Reason for embargo
Corresponding to the rising threat of terrorism and heightened security concerns throughout Europe, potential parallel communities have come under increased scrutiny and pressure to engage and integrate in the politics and society of the country of settlement. Meanwhile, immigrants and the descendants of immigrants have lived in the countries of Western Europe for up to three and four generations. In this discussion, the tools of intercultural dialogue and citizenship have been proposed to bridge the ‘gap’ between ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ communities, permeating state practices from the national to the local level. This dissertation proposes to contribute to the field of International Relations by examining an often excluded space, that is, the local arena. Moreover, it expands the field in terms of giving attention to the role that youth play in international politics. Using a levels-of-analysis approach and a comparative case study method, comments from students, teachers, and parents in Berlin and London were analysed in keeping with a critical constructivist methodology. I found that, in spite of their different histories and immigration experiences, the perceptions of citizenship and intercultural dialogue have more in common than not. The main contributing factors to their experience appeared to be notions of belonging ingrained in the respective national imaginary in the context of globalization. In each case, the overlapping, intersecting experiences of minority youth cross-cut political and juridical boundaries. Far from being confined to a city district, the ramifications of these intersections are global in scale. From local participation to media culture, minority youth participate in an ongoing navigation of international issues in their day-to-day lives.
PhD in Ethno-Political Studies