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Racism Postcolonialism Europe$
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Graham Huggan and Ian Law

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312199

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315626

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Postcolonial racism: white paranoia and the terrors of multiculturalism

Postcolonial racism: white paranoia and the terrors of multiculturalism

(p.119) Chapter 8 Postcolonial racism: white paranoia and the terrors of multiculturalism
Racism Postcolonialism Europe

Ashwani Sharma

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines multiculturalism as a critical framework with which race and racist paranoia have been articulated in recent (post-9/11) times. In particular, it argues that multiculturalism has played a central role as the cultural front of the global ‘war on terror’, which labels specific racial identities/differences, generally categorised as ‘Asian’ or ‘Muslim’, as antagonistic to ideas of belonging and social cohesion in western Europe. While ‘belonging’ and ‘cohesion’ are concepts integral to discourses of multiculturalism, they are also effectively challenged by it. Thus, multiculturalism raises the possibility of addressing questions of race and ethnicity in a postcolonial Europe where public discussions of racism are either systematically repressed or deflected onto designated but often undifferentiated outsiders such as refugees and Muslim terrorists. The chapter contends that the word ‘multicultural’ functions as a floating signifier in the context of both globalisation and decolonisation, and explores how multiculturalism becomes a specific political model of managing cultural heterogeneity in times of postcolonial ‘hyper-globalisation’.

Keywords:   Europe, multiculturalism, racism, war on terror, race, ethnicity, refugees, terrorists, hyper-globalisation, decolonisation

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