The multicultural discourse has long moved beyond the philosophical-normative level of discussion and has spread to practical-political questions related to the fair distribution of resources, equality between individuals and groups, and cultural recognition. Public policy, in all its forms, must adapt to the new reality and the demands that arise from it. In our era, in Israel, as in other countries, the existence of ethnic, cultural, or religious variability that refuses to dissipate is making the society multicultural and poses daily challenges to the state and its institutions. The state must consider, among other things, whether it represents all the groups that compose it, whether the services its institutions provide meet their needs, and whether it is possible to allow the different groups to influence the shaping of policy so as to strengthen trust and cooperation.
Public Policy and Multiculturalism includes articles by researchers in diverse fields of knowledge, examines the patterns in multicultural public policy in Israel, and proposes possible alternatives. The main argument underlying the book is that it is necessary to reconsider the nature of the relevant public institutions and to adapt them to a changing reality. Several main questions arise from the book’s chapters, which deal with such areas as education, health, migration, welfare, culture, local government, and justice: To what extent do the existing institutions take into account the varied needs of different groups in Israeli society? Do the various groups have any influence over the shaping of policy of these institutions? How do the public institutions cope with the tensions between them and the various groups in society? What should be the principles and content of a multicultural public policy?