“Race” and the upsurge of antagonistic popular movements in Sweden.

by Anders Neergaard | Jul 2017 | Article

Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Aleksandra Ålund & Anders Neergaard (2017). “Race” and the upsurge of antagonistic popular movements in Sweden. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(10), 1837–1854.

Across a crisis-stricken Europe battles rage for post-neoliberal hegemony, with “race” and “austerity” as central signifiers. One of the places where the frontlines are most pregnant is Sweden; long perceived as a role model for its welfare state, cultural equity and social equality. Sweden is, however, facing social conflicts following in the tracks of a deep transformation in terms of welfare cuts, racialization and growing social polarization, targeting in particular a disadvantaged migrant and post-migrant population. On that background, the paper focuses on the upsurge of mutually antagonistic popular movements – “racist” and “anti-racist”. We use Sweden as an exemplary case of Europe’s present Polanyian moment, reminiscent of the 1930s. Yet, current upheavals expound, the authors claim, a different configuration of crisis and racism as well as a dissimilar utopia for the imagineering of nation and community.

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