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Social Science and Public Policy

Hans Kundnani: Whiteness and the European Project

February 28, 2024 at 4:00pm5:30pm

Eggers Hall, 341

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The Center for European Studies at the Moynihan Institute presents Hans Kundnani from NYU. 

European identity—as opposed to national identities in Europe—is often imagined as being inclusive or even cosmopolitan. But in the long history of ideas of Europe, it has been defined against a series of Others. In the medieval period it was synonymous with Christianity, and in the modern period it was closely connected to the idea of whiteness. The ethnic/cultural element of European identity did not suddenly disappear in 1945 but rather persisted and influenced what became the European Union—which began as a colonial project, though this was subsequently written out of the story of European integration. Today, as the far right rises across Europe and the EU increasingly sees itself as representing a threatened European civilization, this ethnic/cultural element of European identity may once again be becoming stronger. In this talk, Hans Kundnani will present his new book “Eurowhiteness: Culture, Empire and Race in the European Project.”

Hans Kundnani is a visiting fellow at the Remarque Institute at New York University and an Open Society Foundations Ideas Workshop fellow. He was previously the director of the Europe programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London.

This event was published on February 5, 2024.

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