The Politics of Multiculturalism in the New Europe: Racism, Identity and Community

Europe has become a novel experiment in multiple, tiered and mediated multiculturalisms. It is now a supranational community of cultures, sub-cultures and trans-cultures inserted differentially into radically different political cultural traditions. The consequences of this re-imagining and re-making of a new Europe are variously seen to be threatening or utopian. In a post-Communist, post-national era, multiculturalism has been theorized as a paternalistic, top-down solution to the `problem' of minorities, a dangerous reification of `culture', or a new way forward to a politics of `recognition' and `authenticity'. But is multiculturalism simply a novel project of social engineering, devised for the twenty-first century by well-meaning liberals or communitarians? The authors of this book reject this view by demonstrating that multiculturalism is the political outcome of ongoing power struggles and collective negotiations of cultural, ethnic and racial differences.