A Magnifying Glass for Mainstream European Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

We know much about the European far right anti-immigrant hysteria. In this book we see how mainstream anti-immigrant discourse is formulated.

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From FT review: ”

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Paul Scheffer is a leading figure in the reaction against the “immigrationist” narrative of liberal Europe – that we have always been mongrel nations and that mass immigration is a desirable, and unavoidable, enrichment of our grey and ageing societies.

But he is no reactionary. His critique is based on social-democratic anxieties about the future of mutual obligation and how we have not asked enough of new citizens in increasingly fragmented European societies. As a member of the Dutch Labour party, he published a famous essay in 2000 attacking multiculturalism, opening a debate that came to be dominated by anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim populists.

Many chapters can be read as stand-alone essays – on cosmopolitanism, on contrasts between the big European countries, on the Netherlands story. But there are also some big themes that weave through the book: how immigration represents loss and alienation for everyone concerned and how conflict can be a step on the road to accommodation; how integration has become harder thanks to welfare practices and transnational identities (especially Islamic ones) that make it easier not to join the host society; how European and American immigration has more in common than we assume; and how the embrace of “diversity” has nurtured conservatism in immigrant cultures struggling to adapt to western freedoms.”

Soft reactionary but still reactionary….

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/a60ee2ba-8d57-11e0-bf23-00144feab49a.html#axzz1OK1vW1MN

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