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Messy Europe: Crisis, Race, and Nation-State in a Postcolonial World

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Volume 32

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Messy Europe

Crisis, Race, and Nation-State in a Postcolonial World

Edited by Kristín Loftsdóttir, Andrea L. Smith, and Brigitte Hipfl

254 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-796-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (February 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-797-0 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“An impressive study on a very timely topic.” · Jeremy MacClancey, Oxford Brookes University

“The contribution to research-based understandings of "crisis talk", "being in a state of crisis", the growing tension between legal and moral obligations, and the intersection of economics and morality is intriguing, critical, urgent, and comes precisely at the right historical conjuncture. The volume is a welcome and thoughtful effort to disentangle what is going on.” · Peter Hervik, Aalborg University


Using the economic crisis as a starting point, Messy Europe offers a critical new look at the issues of race, gender, and national understandings of self and other in contemporary Europe. It highlights and challenges historical associations of Europe with whiteness and modern civilization, and asks how these associations are re-envisioned, re-inscribed, or contested in an era characterized by crises of different kinds. This important collection provides a nuanced exploration of how racialized identities in various European regions are played out in the crisis context, and asks what work “crisis talk” does, considering how it motivates public feelings and shapes bodies, boundaries and communities.

Kristín Loftsdóttir is a Professor at the University of Iceland. She directs the research project “(Icelandic) Identity in Crisis,” and is an organizer of the Project of Excellence “Icelandic mobility and Transnationalism.” Her research interests include postcolonial Europe, gender, migration and racism. She is the co-editor of Crisis in the Nordic Nations and Beyond (2014) with Lars Jensen.

Andrea L. Smith is Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. Her interests include postcolonial European social memory, French settler colonialism in Algeria, and race, ethnicity, and place-making. Her publications include the edited volume, Europe’s Invisible Migrants (2003), and the co-authored book, Rebuilding Shattered Worlds: Creating Community by Voicing the Past (2016).

Brigitte Hipfl is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. She works on media and gender, subject formations, the affective labor of media, and postcolonial Europe, and is currently exploring migration in Austrian cinema and TV. Her publications include Teaching "Race" with a Gendered Edge (2012) co-edited with Kristín Loftsdóttir.

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology Refugee & Migration Studies
Area: Europe


List of Illustrations

Kristín Loftsdóttir, Andrea L. Smith, and Brigitte Hipfl

Chapter 1. Wise Viking Daughters: Equality and Whiteness in Economic Crisis
Kristín Loftsdóttir and Helga Björnsdóttir

Chapter 2. “Latvians do not understand the Greek people”: Europeanness and Complicit Becoming in the Midst of Financial Crisis
Dace Dzenovska

Chapter 3. Fairness and Entitlement in Neoliberal England, 2005-2015
Steve Garner

Chapter 4. Debating Refugee Deservingness in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Shay Cannedy

Chapter 5. What is a Life? On Poverty and Race in Humanitarian Italy
Andrea Muehlebach

Chapter 6. Policing Crisis in Austrian Crime Fiction
Brigitte Hipfl

Chapter 7. Crisis France: Covert Racialization and the Gens du Voyage
Andrea L. Smith

Chapter 8. Navigating the Mediterranean Refugee “Crisis”: Alter-Globalization Activism and the Sediments of History on Lampedusa
Antonio Sorge

Epilogue: Declining Europe
Thomas Hylland Eriksen


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