Managing Diversity: The promise and challenge of democracy

12 June 2007
Oslo, Norway

Why has diversity become such a popular theme? It has always existed, both in human society and in a way, in each of us, as individuals and products of the most obvious, “primordial” diversity – the diversity between a woman and a man.

We use the term diversity to name what once used to be called “difference” or the “multiplicity of differences”, maybe because diversity does not imply division and, as such, sounds more “politically correct”.

In politics, the term diversity is most often used to refer to cultural, linguistic, religious and other differences generically defined as “ethnic”. This paper too is about ethnic diversity and its relationship to democracy and politics.

About the Speaker

Secretary-General of International IDEA (2006-2013)
Vidar Helgesen

Vidar Helgesen is a former International IDEA Secretary-General.