Connected Sociologies: From Cosmopolitan Europe to Postcolonial Europe

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:00
Location: Hörsaal 45 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Gurminder K. BHAMBRA, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Standard understandings of 'cosmopolitan Europe' acknowledge only the diversity between states and do not account for the diversity within states as expressed through multiculturalism. This diversity, I argue, can only be properly understood if we take seriously the colonial histories that constitute 'postcolonial Europe'. Such an analysis is increasingly urgent in a continent that faces a growing humanitarian crisis at its borders. In this paper I argue that the failure to properly account for Europe’s colonial past cements the political division between legitimate citizens with rights and migrants and refugees without rights and without even the basis to claim rights. If belonging to the history of the nation is what traditionally confers rights upon individuals (as most forms of citizenship demonstrate) then it is incumbent upon us to recognise the wider histories that would see migrants /refugees as already having claims upon the states they wish to enter. It is this approach - one that I call 'connected sociologies' - that would enable different ways of addressing the crises that we currently face.