Colour-blind diversity: how the “Diversity Label” reshaped anti-discrimination policies in three French local governments

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Abstract

Drawing on the qualitative study of three French local governments (Paris, Nantes and the Seine-Saint-Denis department), this article examines the implementation of local anti-discrimination policy during the 2010s. To what extent have these local governments, particularly eager to assert “diversity” values, renegotiated the dominant, colour-blind perspective prevailing at the national level? To address this question, we examined how they used a policy instrument called the “Diversity Label”. We found that in the three cases, the commitment to the label reinforced both the institutionalization and the managerialization of anti-discrimination policy. Yet, in Nantes and Paris, it also led to a deracialization of anti-discrimination policy–i.e. to the obliteration of its ethno-racial dimension. The Seine-Saint-Denis department, where the majority group tends to become a minority, appears as a contrasting case, as ethno-racial concerns have remained central. This study reveals the unlikely conditions under which French local governments differ from national colour-blindness.

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Bereni, L., Epstein, R., & Torres, M. (2020). Colour-blind diversity: how the “Diversity Label” reshaped anti-discrimination policies in three French local governments. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43(11), 1942–1960. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2020.1738523

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