The IMISCOE Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) webinar series continues thanks to the GenSeM Standing Committee!
Professor Kehinde Andrews (Birmingham City University)
Dr Tobias Hübinette (Karlstad University)
Professor Catrin Lundström (Linköping University)
Post-war migration within and to Western and Northern Europe has led to fundamental demographic changes in these societies. Previously considered as fully or prevalently white nation states, countries like the United Kingdom and Sweden today are among the most ethnically diverse societies in the continent. Parts of large metropolitan cities such as London, Stockholm, Birmingham, and Malmö, are predominantly populated by black and ethnic minorities. The demographic shifts of the last 60 years have been used by right wing political actors to foment perceptions that depicts the (white) majority society as being socially, culturally and economically under threat by non-white immigrant citizens.
The broadly negative political reactions to the so-called 2015 “refugee crisis”, calling for border closures; the rhetoric of ‘bringing back [immigration] control’ used to legitimise the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union; and the latest immigration and citizenship bills in the UK (2021) and in Sweden (2021) calling for further restrictions to residency permits and naturalisation are some of the most recent political reactions that testify to how non-white migration has been scapegoated as a threat to an imagined racially homogenous past. These policies have created a legitimisation of more virulent racism in the public, demonstrated in spikes in hate crimes across the continent. Increasingly, scholars are demonstrating how these actions are reactions to a perceived threat to the white privilege that structures societies in Europe. This applies to both the UK, where race categories have been used in policy and among the public for decades, and in Sweden, which has instead presented itself as an international champion of colour-blind anti-racism.
This GenSeM-ARW dialogue brings together three international scholars, Professor Andrews, Dr Hübinette and Professor Lundström, who are leading figures in the fields of whiteness, racism and migration/ethnic diversity. We hope the seminar will lead to a conversation about the similarities and differences of how whiteness shapes British and Swedish societies respectively, and how these social structures might impact on migration policies and public attitudes towards non-white minorities nationally and internationally.
In order to join, we ask you to register first so we can have an approximate idea of how many people will join us:
The event will take place online via Cisco Webex and it is completely free! (Password: 1234)