The Intercultural Dialogue Index (ICDI): An Index for Assessing Intercultural Relations


Intercultural dialogue (ICD) refers to a process of contact, interaction and exchange of views on the basis of equality, respect, and mutual understanding between individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds. A large body of research has discussed ICD and its potential value for fostering social cohesion and peaceful coexistence across difference. However, there is a lack of robust benchmark data that precludes researchers and practitioners from empirically testing assumptions and hypotheses pertaining to ICD. This article discusses the development of the Intercultural Dialogue Index (ICDI), a proposed composite index for measuring the extent to which ICD is being pursued and implemented as a diversity management tool within different countries. The index builds on the conceptual assumptions underpinning ICD, uses publicly accessible data, and applies methods that allow for replication, upgrading and comparability with relevant indices. This article assesses ICD prevalence for 51 countries based on three interrelated dimensions covering legislative and structural environments as well as opportunities for intercultural encounters. Altogether, 31 indicators across the three dimensions are identified and grouped under 10 broad components to capture both macro- and micro-level factors affecting ICD and intergroup relationships nationally and globally. The article briefly summarises some preliminary ICDI findings and discusses key methodological constraints and conceptual challenges. Theoretical and practical implications of ICDI are also provided.

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Source: For Democracy Index 2018–The Economist Intelligence Unit; ICDI authors’ calculation; Country abbreviations are from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). See Table 5 for country abbreviations.

Fig. 4

Source: For Corruption Perception Index 2018–Transparency International; ICDI authors’ calculation. See Table 5 for country abbreviations.

Fig. 5

Source: For Political Stability Index 2017–World Bank; ICDI authors’ calculation. See Table 5 for country abbreviations.

Fig. 6

Source: For Global Peace Index 2019 – Institute for Economics and Peace; ICDI authors’ calculation. See Table 5 for country abbreviations

Fig. 7

Source: GDP Per Capita (PPP) 2014–2018 – World Bank; ICDI authors’ calculation. See Table 5 for country abbreviations.

Data Availability

All the data used in this research can be provided by the authors upon request

Code availability

The software codes used in this research can be provided by the authors upon request


  1. 1.

    Detailed country reports that contextualise the index with policy and demographic diversity for each of the 51 countries is available in the website: [Removed for this peer review].

  2. 2.

    In this study we report the association of ICDI and five variables where data is available across the included countries.

  3. 3.

    A clean version of the analytical data is available from the authors upon request.


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The authors are grateful to Jenny Lucy for proofreading the manuscript for this paper and to Dr Jerry Lai for creating the map reported in the paper. We are also grateful to Dr Matteo Vergani, Prof Yin Paradies, Prof Mehmet Ulubasoglu, and Dr Cahit Guven for their comments to earlier versions of the manuscript.


This research was supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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FM: coordinated the research, contributed to the conception and design, and wrote the manuscript. AE: contributed to research design, compiled the data, conducted the analysis, and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Amanuel Elias.

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Table 7 The Intercultural Dialogue Index (ICDI): Index structure and data sources
Table 8 Indicator Weights from Principal Component Analysis
Table 9 Best and worst cases of indicator values
Table 10 Robustness check: difference in ICDI scores, PCA weighting vs. equal weighting
Fig. 8

The Intercultural Dialogue Index (ICDI): Dimensions

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Mansouri, F., Elias, A. The Intercultural Dialogue Index (ICDI): An Index for Assessing Intercultural Relations. Soc Indic Res (2021).

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  • Intercultural dialogue
  • Interculturalism
  • Multiculturalism
  • Super-diversity
  • Index