Race and racial denial in Switzerland

Author(s) : Stefanie Claudine Boulila

Source : https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2018.1493211

Abstract:

« Although mainstream historiography’s postcolonial indifference has been heavily contested, a profound engagement with how race relates to racism in Switzerland seems far-off. As the country’s direct democratic system relentlessly allows for race to be mobilized, Swiss racial denial results in an inability to productively name and contest racism. This would be particularly pertinent, as racism has not only been normalized by right-wing popular initiatives but also by a state-sponsored climate in which any attempt of naming racism is deemed excessive or hysterical. This article explores the effects of anti-racialist ‘anti-racism’ on public debates about racism in Switzerland. It has been argued that, in wake of the UNESCO consensus, anti-racialism has been established as the dominant paradigm of anti-racism across Europe. Through an analysis of Swiss state anti-racism, I will propose that an unexamined commitment to the anti-racialist tradition actively contributes to the difficulty of naming and combating racism in Switzerland. »

Keywords: Switzerlandraceanti-racismanti-racialismpost-Racialismracism

 

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