Unequal diversity - on the political economy of social cohesion in Vienna

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The article reflects on the contradictory dynamics inherent in policies and political strategies to achieve social cohesion in cities, given the current European political-economic conjuncture of multiculturalism as well as increasing socioeconomic inequality. It takes the history of the city of Vienna with its rich story of social cohesion and of a melting pot of cultures as a historic case study, stressing path-dependency and the necessity of path-shaping. Furthermore, it describes two good practices of socially innovative current attempts to achieve social cohesion. The empirical insights, together with a broad overview of different disciplinary and policy discourses, help to problematize social cohesion as a key issue for European urban development. The article closes by proposing three lessons that can be learned from Vienna: to overcome culturalist reductionism, to be aware of scale-sensitive institution-building, and to reflect on the political and economic preconditions for building a European social citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 253
JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 507026 Economic geography
  • 507019 Urban development planning
  • 502027 Political economy
  • 504030 Economic sociology
  • 507
  • 507014 Regional development
  • 507016 Regional economy
  • 509003 Development cooperation
  • 509
  • 506007 International relations
  • 502049 Economic history

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