(This is an archived extract from the book Patterns of Power: Edition 2)

A policy of inclusivity is a middle way between policies of assimilation ( or multiculturalism (  It can include some form of representation for minorities, as described in the next section (, and it recognises that maintaining a separate culture is not, in itself, a threat to the rest of society.  It sets some necessary behavioural requirements for everybody (including those in the majority) to comply with:

·      People should behave in a socially-acceptable manner, as described previously (4.4.2).

·      People have a duty to try to learn the language of the region in which they live.  Failure to do so prevents people from getting full value from their membership of the society and it imposes a cost upon others.

·      They are required to be loyal to the whole society, which means accepting that they are part of it and that they have to work within the existing political system even if they are asking for changes to it.

·      People should be encouraged to participate in improving society as a whole; Tariq Ramadan, for example, suggested several ways in which people from any ethnic group can contribute.[1]  As the composition of a society changes, the characteristics of mainstream culture can evolve as it accepts the contributions of new arrivals.

In ‘joystick politics’ (6.2.6) there is more difference between individualists and collectivists than there is between people from different cultural backgrounds.  People don’t have to suppress their different cultures (and they are unlikely to do so, even under duress).  Their common political aims provide the motivation for them to negotiate with each other without regard for ethnicity.

Attempts to force the pace of integration are likely to lead to backlashes, but a gradual fusion will happen naturally under a policy of inclusivity – as relationships develop between individuals from different communities, helping to build trust over several generations.   Specific problems, as indicated by signs of tension, can be more easily resolved if they are addressed as soon as they appear, and if solutions are negotiated in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding.

© PatternsofPower.org, 2014                                                 

[1] In his book What I Believe, Tariq Ramadan summarised some behavioural requirements for people in minority groups. He described the need to speak the language, obey the law and be loyal and then, in chapter 15, he further identified what he called "the seven Cs": confidence, consistency, contribution, creativity, communication, contestation and compassion.  Consistency and compassion are part of socially acceptable behaviour, but the other words describe an active and constructive participation in developing the society. 

He described this book in a lecture at the LSE on 14 October 2009, entitled Islam: What I Believe; this was available in May 2014 at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=439.