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Category: The Crises of Multiculturalism

Last Talk: Good and Bad Diversity

I recently gave a talk on Good and Bad Diversity: The Crisis of Multiculturalism as a Crisis of Politics at the Reconfiguring Antiracism Conference, held at Deakin University, Melbourne (9-10 December 2013). This paper emerges from The Crises of Multiculturalism, the book I co-wrote with Gavan Titley in 2011 and…

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Anders Behring Breivik had no legitimate grievance

Gavan Titley and I have published an article on The Guardian’s Comment is Free today stating why we think that the political mainstream is far more involved than we would like to think in the development of Anders Behring Breivik’s idea on multiculturalism and immigration.

Despite the fact that Anders Behring Breivik was not permitted to publicly justify his actions in public on Monday, a scrambling defence of his repertoire of prejudice is already in full swing. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Bruce Bawer, who is quoted by Breivik in his manifesto 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, emphasises his repeated warnings that a rightwing extremist may use violence to address “legitimate concerns about genuine problems”. Bawer blames mainstream politics for failing to address the corrosion of Europe by Islamicisation and multiculturalism, meanwhile The Jerusalem Post cautions that “Oslo’s devastating tragedy should not be allowed to be manipulated by those who would cover up the abject failure of multiculturalism”.

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Fresh Off the Press

The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age is finally ready. My co-author, Gavan and I went to pick it up and meet the delightful Zed Books editors at their offices in London last week. Here I am checking it out. The book will be officially out next week…

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The Crises of Multiculturalism in press

The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age, co-wrtten with Gavan Titley is currently in press and will be published with Zed Books in 2011 with a preface by Gary Younge.

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Zombies, again

The Privilege Denying Dude
The Privilege Denying Dude

This piece, co-written with Gavan Titley, was published on the Muslim Council of Britain’s website in response to Prospect Magazine’s ‘Rethinking Race’ feature, edited by Munira Mirza.

As reluctant connoisseurs of multicultural clichés, we were somewhat disappointed that Munira Mirza’s essay forgot to report how Birmingham City Council killed Christmas and replaced it with Winterval. As several contributors have noted, her largely anecdotal essay presents a set of arguments that could have been assembled anytime over the last twenty years. Furthermore, it remains mired in the either/or logics it sets out to critique; displays no sense of the motility and changing nature of racisms; depends on the active forgetting of how ‘cultural racism’ has shifted in the ‘war on terror’ era to coded discourses of values, compatibility and loyalty; and refuses to engage with how, as Soumaya Ghannoushi (2006) argued, the perennial trope of the ‘multiculturalism problem’ has become a euphemism for ‘the Muslim problem’. As Gargi Bhattacharyya noted, the article is not really about multiculturalism, but proposes a familiar attack ‘on the claim that racism exists and shapes social outcomes’.

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New news

LENTIN FINALIt’s been such a long time since I last blogged. Over the last few months I have been a visiting fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin during which time I co-wrote a book, The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a neoliberal age with Gavan Titley. Pending readers’ reviews which we are waiting for at the end of November, the book will be out on June 9 2011.

During my time in Berlin, we organised a workshop at the ICI on the book’s theme and were delighted to have Guardian journalist Gary Younge join us. The whole workshop is available to watch online.

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Crises of Multiculture in Berlin

mc is deadThe Crises of Multiculture? (Zed Boks 2011) which I am co-writing with Gavan Titley will be prresented at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin on July 15 with a response by award-winning journalist, Gary Younge.

Across the West, something called multiculturalism is in crisis. Regarded as the failed experiment of liberal elites, commentators and politicians compete to denounce its corrosive legacies; parallel communities threatening social cohesion, enemies within cultivated by irresponsible cultural relativism, mediaeval practices subverting national ‘ways of life’ and universal values. Muslims have been the chief beneficiary of this discredited epoch; licensed by its delusions, they have been left unsupervised, and the proliferation of ghettos, extremism and illiberal excesses is the troubling result.

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Alana Lentin