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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The Uses of Xenophobia

The politics of fear

Fear of responding to a politics of fear is a critical aspect of the present weakness in the situation in which Europeans find themselves.

The undesirables of the world and how universality changed camp

Within the space of a few years, Europe has gone from an 85% acceptance rate for asylum seekers in the 90’s to an 85% rejection rate by the end of the 2000’s.

Our European incapacity

If we are to articulate a ‘politics of hope’ in contemporary Europe, then we must revisit such problematic concepts as ‘populism’, ‘democracy’ and ‘Europe’, formulating a new language that can register the fact that the coexistence of an antidemocratic Europe, and an anti-European exploitation of fears and frustrations, are two sides of the same coin.

The future of Islamophobia: the liberal, the Jew, the animal

The ritual slaughter of animals has become the last of many areas of contention that are changing the shape of our public domains. The way in which Islamophobia is becoming a part of our public ‘common sense’ has complex knock-on effects, not least for our Jewish minorities.

Xenophobia and the Civilizing Mission

Europe’s civilizing mission is humanitarian - its duty to intervene to spread the good word, protecting the oppressed against local tyrants. The conditions by which this protection is granted are always dictated by the protector and never the protégé. Though this is not said, it is a given.

East European Geographobia

There are particularities of fear in a post-communist Europe bewildered by the demands of neoliberalism, which also tap into a legacy of aversion matured during Communism.

Politics of fear: a frightened left

Nobody has raised real debates in national or supranational parliaments to discuss the excesses of the securitarian discourse. Quite the opposite: the left has adopted the security discourse wholesale as its own and entered into a kind of auction with the right.

The coordinated attack on multiculturalism

Centre-right parties across Europe are announcing the failure of multiculturalism. We are witnessing a co-ordinated revival of Enoch Powell's idea of the aggressive outsider out to dominate the rest; only now race and immigration are being played out on the terrain of culture and religion

Old and new demagoguery: the rhetoric of exclusion

Right-wing populist parties tend to be anti-multinational and anti-intellectual: they endorse nationalistic, nativist, and chauvinistic beliefs, embedded - explicitly or coded - in common sense appeals to a presupposed shared knowledge of ‘the people’.

Xenophobia: Europe’s death knell

The Europe that is dying is the one that remains hostage to its past. Another Europe is not only possible but is in fact fast becoming an urgent necessity. This would be a Europe of vitality, open to connections, that has let go of its civilisational conceits

Crisis - what crisis?

Why is widespread social anxiety fuelling xenophobia rather than criticism of neoliberal capitalism? What role has the state played? Have we arrived at the paradoxical situation where the best we can do is to call on the state to do its job?

Xenophobic Europe

Our guest editor introduced his special feature on the ‘Uses of Xenophobia’, on Europe Day. Here, he maps the new relevance of an open and shared commons to a continent that is once again meeting economic, political and cultural insecurity with a resurgence of aggressive political demagoguery

The Uses of Xenophobia

In Ash Amin’s guest week on “The Uses of Xenophobia”, beginning on Europe Day, 2011, the thrust of the essays has been to press for a more open and democratic European continent, which turns to face the turbulent and uncertain future together with the stranger, treated as an ally and equal.

A message from the front line

Does Europe offer a model for a solution to xenophobia, or is it a major part of the problem; or is it just in a much more confused place altogether?
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