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Meeting the Challenge of Cultural Diversity in Europe

Moving Beyond the Crisis

Robin Wilson

Europe has talked itself into a refugee and security crisis. There is, however, a misrecognition of the real challenge facing Europe: the challenge of managing the relationship between Europeans and the currently stigmatized ‘others’ which it has attracted. Making the case against a ‘Europe of walls’, Robin Wilson instead proposes a refounding of Europe built on the power of diversity and an ethos of hospitality rather than an institutional thicket serving the market.
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Chapter 3: ‘Morbid symptoms’: the failure of prior social models

Robin Wilson


The wars of the Yugoslav succession and ‘September 11’ initiated a series of troubling events throwing into question the adequacy of the old (assimilationism and multiculturalism) models for the management of cultural diversity in Europe. These events continued with the Islamist bombings in Spain and London in 2004 and 2005, respectively, the riots in northern England and France in 2001 and 2005, respectively, and the worldwide protests over cartoons, including images of Muhammad published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, the Utøya massacre of young social democrats in Norway by a far-right figure in 2011, through to the Islamist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan in Paris in 2015, on the airport in Brussels in 2016, and at Manchester arena, Westminster and London Bridge, and in New York, in 2017. At the heart of all of these was a process of outgroup stereotyping, dehumanizing the Other and fostering polarization and violence.

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