Race and Crisis in Europe
The session proposal is addressed to the political economy of race-centred discourses in European contexts since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In particular, it focuses on certain nodes within this web of crises including:
disinvestments and vulnerable populations: broadly the gradual minimization of welfare arrangements and corresponding production of vulnerable or dispossessed populations (e.g. the poverty-stricken, unemployed or precariously employed);
anxiety about migration and immigrants: at two principal levels – into the EU and across member-states which become increasingly effective issues for political mobilizations;
a surge of neo-nationalisms fracturing always-shaky EU integrities and exacerbating unevenness within the transnational formation (provoking exits), and also pressing upon the integrity of nation-states (e.g. moves towards secession).
hardening protectionist policies and declaring states of exception: securing boundaries and policing populations (e.g. instability in the Middle East and North Africa, more tacitly to counter disaffected and dispossessed populations within to manage resistances).
At each of these nodes of the web of crisis radiating out of and around the financial crisis the signification of race plays a critical role. So, for instance: minorities defined by race tend to be disproportionately represented in vulnerable populations; “immigrants” is generally a euphemism for racial others and unwanted immigrants are ascribed in racialized ways; neo-nationalisms habitually define national belonging and threats with racial signifiers; race is often foregrounded in profiling extremists and disaffected and resistant populations. The contributions will focus on the signification of race at these nodes to explore discourses of crises in European contexts after 2008.
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