This interdisciplinary, comparative research programme is intended to explore to what extent the processes of transnationalisation, migration, religious mobilisation and cultural differentiation entail a new configuration of social conflict in post-industrial societies. Such a possible new constellation we here label complex diversity. The leading idea is that such diversity is developing at a global level, but particularly in European-style societies, where social entitlements, supranational policies and cultural diversity enjoy a considerable, but often contradictory degree of legitimacy. In this perspective, Canada offers some interesting similarities and contrasts with Europe. Our project tries therefore to identify the cleavages and normative issues that this new constellation raises on both sides of the Atlantic, and to develop expertise in the institutions, public policies and cultural resources that can respond to them. The thematic focus of the programme covers the areas of linguistic diversity and political communication, religious pluralism, transnationalism and, finally, multiculturalism and welfare state policies.