The network has been established with financial support from NordForsk for four years, 2011-2014, and has initiated in the project period several scientific events. Many researchers and PhD candidates have participated in the activities, and the increasingly diversified realities in the Nordic context have been approached from various angles. Contributions have come from a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences, humanities and economics, and from network members as well as invited scholars.
During the last 20 years discussions about immigration have intensified in Europe and the Nordic countries. References are usually made to different models/regimes/ideals: assimilation, multiculturalism, pluralism and, during the past 15 years, more and more frequently to inter-culturalism. The need to contrast interpretations of multi-cultural and inter-cultural “realities” vs. “ideals” and their implications for the ambition of social cohesion has, moreover, been accentuated by several unforeseen and contradictory developments.
The principal objective of the research network has been to analyse the insufficient theoretical characterisation of the categories (universalism and multiculturalism and connected theories such as liberalism and pluralism) used to explain and regulate the relations between the ethnically defined majority and ethnically defined minorities in the same society. Furthermore, the object has been to assess if the tools and significance of intercultural models assume specific forms in a Nordic context that would allow us to talk about a “Scandinavian model”.
Three workshops were organized to present, discuss and compare findings from research done on these topics in the respective countries. (1) The first workshop, “Intercultural communication in work places”, took place in Bergen, Norway, in 2011. It focused on work as an area for inclusion/exclusion. (2) The second workshop, “Intercultural polices confronting of the economic crisis” took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2012. It focused on the effects of the economic crisis on integration in a wider European context. (3) The third workshop “Inclusion, integration and education in the Nordic region” took place in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2013. The focus was on a comparison of educational policies and their outcomes. Two research courses have also been organized: the first in 2012: “Inclusion and exclusion: Understanding and developing regimes of integration in the Nordic countries”. The second in 2013: “Education and the Reproduction of Marginality”.
The final conference in 2014 was centred on a broad discussion of the topics and findings dealt with during the project period, as well as the launching of a new approach with the theme: ”Trust, security, openness and social integration in the Nordic countries – where to go from here?”
Members of the IDIN network include: From Sweden: prof. KG. Hammarlund, prof. Tomas Nilson, prof. Martin Peterson. From Denmark: prof. Susan Baca, prof. Ole Busk, prof. Iben Jensen, prof. Lisanne Wilken. From Norway: prof. Paola de Cuzzani, Jonas Lillebø, Line Hilt, prof. Knut Venneslan, Hans Christian Farsethås, Kari Hoftun Johnsen, Amir Tanovich.