Resisting the demonisation of ‘the Other’: State, nationalism and social control in a time of crisis
Six years into the financial crisis that began to unfold in 2008, we have witnessed a renewed politics of ‚the Other‘. Processes of exclusion have intensified due to the onslaught of ruthless welfare reforms, mass unemployment and enforced poverty. The increasing evidence of hostility towards people considered as ‚the Other‘ is further evidenced by the mobilisation of the far right across Europe. Meanwhile, activists and anti-capitalists are increasingly targeted for criminalisation and placed under surveillance. Systems of social control ? including both formal mechanisms such as policing and prisons and informal mechanisms, such as those organised by voluntary organisations ? are in a period of perpetual crisis: as punitive responses intensify, the poor and the unemployed are responsibilised for their own poverty. Anti-immigration policies, housing repossessions, and forced debt repayment have revealed new forms of state violence and have intensified processes of othering and exclusion. At the same time, the crisis has strengthened institutional practices widening class, gender, age and racialised inequalities whilst the impunity of powerful elites is sustained.
This conference calls for papers exploring the demonisation of ‚the Other‘ in our time of economic, political and social crises. How can we most effectively challenge the growing reach of social control apparatus and the rise of right wing extremism in Europe and beyond? What are the factors contributing to growing social and economic inequalities and their collateral consequences? How can we best promote principles of social justice, tolerance and social inclusion in times of crisis? How can academics most effectively make connections with grass roots resistance movements? What alternative values, principles and policies should be promoted? We particularly welcome papers focussing upon ‚race‘, especially regarding the intersections between racism, sexism, classism and national identity and papers exploring the relationship between imperialism, sovereignty and processes of Othering. We are also keen to invite activist groups and social movements to present and participate in this conference.
We welcome papers on the themes below which reflect the general values and principles of the European Group.