The question of accommodations that institutions and citizens must make to ensure social cohesion in pluralist societies is of concern to the Council of Europe. How will we live and interact together in diversity? It is becoming increasingly important to provide responses and devise innovative frameworks (in the legal sphere, in national education and training in competences and in institutional practice) which can help build a shared vision while at the same time respecting each individual.
By comparing European and Canadian responses, among others, the articles featured in this volume explore this complex issue. They contribute to a major social debate and outline a vision of the future that allows us to set aside mutual suspicion and develop institutional arrangements and forms of social interaction capable of making diversity a factor for progress, well-being and social justice. They also remind us that poverty combined with stigmatisation based on identity leads to stasis, social malaise and an increase in security measures, which ultimately prevent societies from evolving through risk taking, shared responsibility, dialogue and consultation .