How Do Western Democracies Cope with the Challenge of Diversity?

Hosted by the Department of Government

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House,


Professor Sammy Smooha

Professor Sammy Smooha


Dr John Hutchinson

The contemporary Western world celebrates ethnic and cultural diversity, apparently cherishing multiculturalism and shared society. A review of the historical record of Western democracies reveals their effort to reach national uniformity and unity by using various coercive means to reduce or eliminate diversity (genocide, population control, involuntary assimilation, segregation, partition). The different strategies of three types of democracy (liberal, consociational and ethnic) will be exemplified and compared.

This is a public lecture in memory of Anthony Smith.

Sammy Smooha is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Haifa. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and President of the Israeli Sociological Society and won the 2008 Israel Prize for Sociology. Smooha studies Israeli society, with a focus on ethnic relations, in comparative perspective. He has published widely on the internal divisions and conflicts in Israel, and has authored and edited several books on Arab and Jewish relations. He is the Israel Institute Visiting Professor at the University of London-SOAS for the academic year 2016-17.

John Hutchinson is Associate Professor in Nationalism in Europe at the Department of Government, LSE.

The Department of Government (@LSEGovernment) at LSE is one of the largest political science departments in the UK. Our activities cover a comprehensive range of approaches to the study of politics.

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