[Cultural Diversity Management: The Lessons Learned from Antiquity for Contemporary Cities]
Type of publication: Research Article
cultural diversity management, ethno-political interaction, multiculturalism, Athens, Sparta, Rome, Alexandria, plurality, identity
This article examines the manners in which the multicultural cities of Antiquity managed the cultural diversity under the circumstances of the lack of the modern urban institutions, undeveloped civil society, and the weakness of the organized structure to control the streets and cease the riots. Athens, Sparta, Rome and Alexandria are in focus. The author stresses that their policies were multidimensional and targeted to solve the problems of (1) consolidation of urban community, (2) provision of cultural autonomy for different ethnic and cultural groups, and (3) prevention of creation of alternative identities. The strong dependence of the adopted decisions on social and historical contexts is shown. It is emphasized that the cities fulfilled the important function of an interface between internal and external political processes. The role of the state was crucial; its moral authority and geopolitical prestige growth facilitated the urban community’s integration, while the decline thereof provided an opposite effect. Three important lessons learned from the antique experiences related to the present day are outlined. The author argues that the policy targeted to “harmonize” the multicultural reality should be reconsidered in favor of the multidimensional strategy of the diversity management within the context of contradiction and conflicts, based on shared responsibilities and on admission of the plurality of not only cultural traditions, but also of values.
This research was supported by the following institutions and grants:
Russian Science Foundation, grant no 15-18-00064
Vendina, O.I. 2016. Upravlenie kul’turnym raznoobraziem: znachenie opyta antichnosti dlia sovremennykh gorodov [Cultural Diversity Management: The Lessons Learned from Antiquity for Contemporary Cities]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 120-136
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