In this special issue on “Multiculturalism During Challenging Times,” we present six articles focused on multiculturalism as it is currently practiced or implemented in Canada, across Europe, in Mauritius, and in South Korea. We apply SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to assess the strengths and weaknesses of its application and the opportunities and threats it presents for the countries studied here. Strengths: We find that multiculturalism fosters national identity, promotes cultural tolerance and modernization, and assists with the incorporation of cultural minorities. Weaknesses: At the same time, multiculturalism also creates “faultlines” along cultural and religious groups, could promote separate and parallel lives, and could pose a challenge to equality in liberal societies. Opportunities: Multiculturalism has the potential to be used as a tool for attracting talents, a source of competitive advantage for nations, and a discourse for politicians to score political gains. Threats: Multiculturalism also has the potential to be perceived as incompatible with Western, liberal values, a burden to the state welfare, and challenge existing national identities. We conclude with some suggestions for future research to extend our understanding of multiculturalism within the context of increasing globalization and greater international migration.
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