The Emergence of Interculturalism

As our inter-connected and socially dynamic world continues its course in the middle of a pandemic, people and communities alike have been forced to return to a "new normal" while applying the lessons learned in the past year. Intercultural relationships are a vital part of this new world, and scholars everywhere are examining the cultural, racial, ethnic, religious, and social aspects of different nations and regions of the globe, seeking to better understand the effects of this collective evolution.

Amidst this global reality, interculturalism has emerged as a position in favor of diversity since, by focusing on individuals rather than their group membership, the old ideas of national preservation and nation building are no longer pursued as objectives but are seen as obstacles to the ultimate goal, which is social mixing, plural identities, and cosmopolitanism (Mansouri and Modood 2021). Being a world citizen is more important than ever in this intercultural world.

Social awakenings around the world have led to intense rounds of protests throughout much of 2020 and 2021. Young people look at their future and the future of the planet wondering whether previous generations have pushed it past the point of no return. In 2010, Stéphane Hessel—a French diplomat, member of the French Resistance, and concentration camp survivor—published his best seller Indignez-vous!, calling on young people to be outraged by capital markets that want to turn their basic human rights into commodities. Hessel argues that resistance is the only viable collective action to overcome the apathy, disenchantment, and automatization left by neoliberalism (Hessel 2011). His ideas, as well as those of social liberals, have merged with social media, creating unprecedented social movements.

In Colombia, these protests took on new energy in the first half of 2021. The lessons learned from the so-called Black Lives Matter Summer of 2020 in the United States showed that real change is possible through collective action. Interculturalism played a huge part in these grassroots efforts, as evidenced by the exchange of ideas, goods, and services between indigenous communities and university students. The practices of these ancestral communities and their relationships have a millenary character and respond to a different worldview. Recognizing and appreciating peoples, communities, and cultures that coexist in society encourages the building of relationships based on social equity, solidarity, acceptance, respect for difference, and harmony. Unfortunately, the peaceful protests in Colombia were marred by violence and came to an end after authorities identified criminal activity within the main organization (Turkewitz 2021).

The current issue of Novum Jus features interculturalism as its central theme. The article "Reflexiones en torno a la cotidianidad e integralidad de los derechos humanos" sets the stage for discussing everyday applications of human rights. Along the same lines, the study "Educación e interculturalidad: propuesta desde los pueblos etnico-territoriales reconocidos desde 1991 en Colombia" presents a proposal, from an intercultural perspective, so that educators can better serve ethnic minorities in Colombia. The articles "Verdad y flagrancia, la acusación múltiple y la 'igualdad de armas' en el sistema acusatorio argentino" and "Delito y subcultura carcelaria: ¿Cómo minimizar el proceso de desocialización?" discuss the philosophical, international, and sociological implications of the criminal justice system in several nation-states.

The editorial team of Novum Jus is proud to present this issue, the first one after being included in the Scopus and Web of Science databases. These honors are the result of the time and effort invested in the quality of articles we publish. As such, the collection included here taps into ongoing discussions on interculturalism by presenting the work of scholars with a wide geographical diversity. We are always looking for new ways to reach a wider audience while remaining true to the principles of originality and academic relevance that have always set us apart from the rest.

Laura C. Gamarra-Amaya
Executive Editor


Hessel, Stéphane. 2011. Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous! New York: Twelve.

Mansouri, Fethi, and Tariq Modood. 2021. "The complementarity of multiculturalism and interculturalism: theory backed by Australian evidence." Ethnic and Racial Studies 44 (16): 1-20. doi:10.1080/01419870.2020.1713391.

Turkewitz, Julie. 2021. "Why are Colombians Protesting?" The New York Times, May 18, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/world/americas/colombia-protests-what-to-know.html?searchResultPosition=2.