London, Zed Books, 2011

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.

This important new book challenges this familiar narrative of the rise and fall of multiculturalism by challenging the existence of a coherent era of ‘multiculturalism’ in the first place. The authors argue that what we are witnessing is not so much a rejection of multiculturalism as a projection of neoliberal anxieties onto the social realities of lived multiculture. Nested in an established post-racial consensus, new forms of racism draw powerfully on liberalism and questions of ‘values’, and unsettle received ideas about racism and the ‘far right’ in Europe.

In combining theory with a reading of recent controversies concerning headscarves, cartoons, minarets and burkas, Lentin and Titley trace a transnational crisis that travels and is made to travel, and where rejecting multiculturalism is central to laundering increasingly acceptable forms of racism.

ISBN: 9781848135819 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781780321400 (eBook, ePub)

Table of Contents

Preface, by Gary Younge

Introduction and Acknowledgments

Part I: Recited Truths: the Contours of Multicultural Crisis

1. The New Certainties
2. Recited Truths
3. The Comforts of Crisis
4. The Recited Truths of (British) Multiculturalism: a Rough Guide
5. Species of Blowback
6. The Long Unsettled Settlement

Part II: Let’s Talk About Your Culture: Post-Race, Post-Racism

7. Introduction: ‘Race is Irrelevant, But All Is Race’
8. Reflections on Reflections: Can Europe be Racialized with Cultural People in it?
9. The Apparatus of Race
10. No Race, No Power, New Problems
11. An Era of Post-Racialism
12. The Ascent of Culture
13. The Fault-Lines of Postracialism

Part III: Free Like Me: the Polyphony of Liberal Postracialism

14. From Evil to Relativism
15. In the Mirror, Through the Looking Glass
16. Liberal Populism, and Populist Liberalism
17. Europe’s Prime Multicultural Experiment
18. The New Realism
19. Liberal Populism, and Populist Liberalism
20. The Polyphony of  ‘Identity Liberalism’

Part IV: Mediating the Crisis: Circuits of Belief

21. Mediated Minarets
22. From Integration Debates to Integration Events
23. The Diminishing Returns of Honesty and Openness
24. Genres of Event
25. Something Rotten, etc, etc
26. Recited Truths, Circuits of Belief
27. Petri-Dish Cities
28. Coda: On Critics

Part V: Good and Bad Diversity: the Shape of Neoliberal Racisms

29. Introduction: Pragmatic, Elastic, Ubiquitous
30. Analysing Contamination
31. Racy: Racial Neoliberalism and the Privatization of Race
32. Privatizing Racism
33. The Promise, and Problem of Diversity
34. Love Diversity, Hate Racism
35. Diversity Politics, and the Politics of Diversity
36. Conclusion: the Burka as Bad Diversity and Governmental Event

Part VI: On One More Condition: the Politics of Integration Today

37. Introduction
38. The Rise of Domopolitics
39. Integrating the Sexual Nation
40. Not Free Enough: Sexual Repression as a Barrier to Integration

References and Bibliography