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date: 18 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the politics of multiculturalism, which is intimately related to the politics of (im)migration. It is argued that state policies of multiculturalism are best regarded as part of the neoliberal governmentality of managing and containing anti-racist demands for justice. Far from realizing these goals, official multiculturalism policies further empowered those racialized as White to continue to imagine the “nation” as “theirs.” This was how nation-states attempted to regain their legitimacy in the face of neoliberal reforms that granted greater power to a globally operative capital. With recent calls for the “end of multiculturalism” by heads of state, there is a reversion to previous policies of (im)migrant assimilation as well as a hardening of the nationalist politics of citizenship into a politics of “native-ness” or autochthony. These, too, are state efforts to address the continuing crisis of legitimacy caused by neoliberalism.

Keywords: multiculturalism, racism, immigration, neoliberalism, legitimacy, autochthony

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