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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 5: In search of scapegoats: the crisis of European capitalism and its misrecognition

Robin Wilson


There has been considerable debate in recent years as to whether the rise in intolerance associated with the growth of populist parties in Europe is a social phenomenon of the ‘losers of globalization’ or a psychological manifestation of individual authoritarianism. Both the social and the psychological determinants of intolerance can, however, be addressed within a perspective which identifies rising social insecurity on the one hand and an authoritarian predisposition on the other as at play, with the former catalysing the latter. The ‘ordo-liberal’ straitjacket of the eurozone and related austerity measures since the financial crisis have only served to increase unemployment and heighten insecurity, while migrants and refugees have provided convenient scapegoats for the projection of blame by the authoritarian Self on to the Other.

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