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Podcast: "European identity is externally exclusive"
Hans Kundnani on the EU, Brexit, and "whiteness"
"Today’s 'pro-Europeans' would be horrified at the suggestion that their idea of Europe had anything to do with whiteness. In fact, many would find the attempt to link the two baffling and outrageous,” writes Hans Kundnani in his provocative new book - Eurowhiteness: Culture, Empire and Race in the European Project out today.
Pro-Europeanism is “analogous to nationalism - something like nationalism but on a larger, continental scale", he writes. "European identity is externally exclusive - that is, it excludes those who are not European or cannot think of themselves as being European". The EU itself has “become a vehicle for imperial amnesia" and thereby promotes and privileges “whiteness”.
Hans Kundnani is an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and a fellow of the Open Society Foundations Workshop. Eurowhiteness examines the long and adaptive emergence of a European identity, the imperial origins of the post-war communities, how the convergence of economic policies has shifted left/right contestation into culture war-making, and why the British left should "see Brexit as an opportunity to make the UK become a less Eurocentric country".
Listen to the discussion via your preferred app:
New Books Network (Megaphone)
For my Writers’ Writers tip sheet, he chose Eurafrica: The Untold History of European Integration and Colonialism by Peo Hansen and Stefan Jonsson (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) and The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon (Penguin Classics, 2006 – first published in 1956).