Knowledge production and the politics of ‘integration’ in contemporary Europe: challenging the depoliticisation of (anti-)racism

by Silvia Rodríguez Maeso

Coordination: This seminar will discuss the enduring difficulties of addressing racism as a political phenomenon that shapes the normal functioning of institutions and everyday social relations within the so-called democratic societies. It will focus on the reproduction of dominant understandings of racism as related to ‘prejudices’, ‘mentalities’ and, therefore, to the idea of a well-identified racist individual or group. This approach has neutralized a wider debate on institutional racism and, more importantly, on the intimate relationship between the naturalization of race and the idea of Europe/the West, i.e. the depoliticisation of (anti-)racism. More specifically, I propose to discuss these issues in relation to the establishment, since the 1960s, of the ‘integration’ and ‘minorities’ and/or ‘immigration’ political and academic agendas in the European context that is, of hegemonic knowledge production and policy frameworks.

Silvia Rodríguez Maeso (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra)