The decline of multiculturalism as a public discourse has been caused by various socio-political factors – such as 9/11 and its aftermath and the growth in migration – and new pro- and anti-diversity isms have been offered instead.
One such pro-diversity discourse is interculturalism. Whilst some of its advocates, especially in Quebec and Europe, have seen it as a replacement of multiculturalism, a closer examination shows a high degree of complementarity. We demonstrate this by a theoretical-normative unpacking of multiculturalism and of the claims of interculturalism, and by evidence that Australian publics see multiculturalism as supportive of interculturalism, perceived as a renewal of multiculturalism. We express the hope that the sometimes oppositional debate between these two isms may now move forward into a phase of complementarity.