Boundaries of Tolerance
in Denmark and Sweden


Stakeholder conference on 18 February 2013 at Stockholm University

The conference is held under the auspices of the EU 7th framework Research Project

ACCEPT PLURALISM - Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion:
Responding to the Challenges of the 21st Century in Europe.

The conference invites: policy makers and civil servants, NGO representatives, media, and the public at large – as well as students and academics.

Organizers: Stockholm and Aarhus Universities, Banlieues d’Europe and Levande Historia

Conference main theme

When thorny issues of minority integration are debated in Sweden and Denmark, commentators and politicians very often point to what goes on across the clear blue waters of Kattegat and Öresund. Sometimes in disbelief and horror; occasionally with some sympathy and appreciation. But rarely, unfortunately, based on a great deal of knowledge of what actually separates and unites the brother peoples. The purpose of this conference is to invite stakeholders and the public at large to engage in debate about the past and possible futures – converging or splendidly isolated from their respective main ‘Other’ – of two Scandinavian models. 

Though Sweden and Denmark are faced with similar immigration and refugee situations, Sweden seems to maintain relatively liberal refugee and citizenship policies and a Nordic version of 'multiculturalism', while Denmark has become a European hard-liner in questions of cultural minority incorporation. Although electorates in both countries score relatively high on various measures of social tolerance, some remarkable differences exist in the content and flavour of public and political discourse.

These are some of the findings of the large European research 15-country project "ACCEPT PLURALISM – Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion", in which both Denmark and Sweden have taken part with particular focus on education and political life.

This closing conference invites stakeholders and commentators to discuss the findings of the project as well as those of other invited researchers' comparative work-in-progress. It is a unique opportunity to compare the immigration and integration trajectories of the brother peoples and reassess old mutual stereotypes. At the same time, it gives us a chance to find examples of good practice on one side of Öresund which may after all inspire the other?

Participation and registration:

Participation in the conference, including lunch and refreshments, is free.
Deadline for registration is 11 February 2013. NB: Participation is limited by space constraints.

Go to registration form.




Download conference programme
Download conference programme

ACCEPT PLURALISM - Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion: Responding to the Challenges of the 21st Century in Europe
ACCEPT PLURALISM is a research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme.

About the project

The project aims to investigate whether European societies have become more or less tolerant during the past 20 years. Bringing together empirical and theoretical findings, ACCEPT PLURALISM generates a State of the Art Report on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe targeting policy makers, NGOs and practitioners, a Handbook on Ideas of Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe aimed to be used at upper high school level and with local/national policy makers, a Tolerance Indicators' Toolkit where qualitative and quantitative indicators may be used to score each country’s performance on tolerating cultural diversity, and a book on Tolerance, Pluralism and Cultural Diversity in Europe, mainly aimed to an academic readership. The project includes direct communication with and input from policy makers, civil society, political and media actors for the dissemination and exploitation of its findings. The consortium is formed by 17 partner institutions and is coordinated at the RSCAS by Anna Triandafyllidou.