Race, migration and neoliberalism

Journal: 
Issue: 
Spring 2014

This article looks at the ways in which structures of racism underpin the workings of neoliberal culture and society, both within the UK and internationally. Common sense on race is deeply entangled with the legacies of empire, and continues to sustain a sense that the West has a civilising mission within the world. This helps underpin acceptance of global inequality. Racism also helps sustain meritocratic ways of viewing achievement, as well as wider exclusionary notions of competence and worthiness. Free marketeers favour the free movement of labour, but do not take responsibility for ensuring the welfare of either migrants of existing residents. Instead they opportunisticaly blame migrants for the ills caused by neoliberalism itself. Communitarianism feeds into exclusionary rhetoric since it valorises belonging and cannot encompass difference within its political view.

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