Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

The City as a Continuous Laboratory for Diversity: The Case of Geneva

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Abstract:  After a long period of interest of religious plurality in the nation-state, the sociology of religion, with the impulse of the sociology of migration, has turned its attention to the city. This local level allows us to understand the issues of diversity governance. This article takes advantage of the literature on the governance of migration to apply it to the governance of religious diversity. Using data from the National Congregations Study and available data on Geneva, this article will first show how past responses to the emergence of diversity determine the path for future decisions. To this top-down regulation of religion responds one or more bottom-up strategies of religious communities to find legitimacy in a constraining environment. Based on the unit of the religious community, this study on Geneva provides a historical case of the evolution of diversity. This historical perspective provides the consistency of the current governance of religious diversity, illuminating the struggle for recognition of the minority groups.

Keywords:  city; Geneva; legal framework; recognition; religious community; religious diversity; super-diversity


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© Christophe Monnot. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.