Inclusion Through Exclusion: Explosion or Implosion?
Nicholas De Genova
Columbia University, US
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Latino Studies. The reflections developed in this essay are the product of concerns that have run parallel to much of my previous scholarly work, but which have crystallized in the numerous exchanges afforded by various invitations to present my work in Europe and then by a year spent in Britain as a Marie Curie research fellow. My thoughts on this topic have been particularly stimulated by conversations and collaborations with Bridget Anderson, Rutvica Andrijasevic, Gurminder Bhambra, Nahum Chandler, Manu Grez, Serhat Karakayali, Shahram Khosravi, Sandro Mezzadra, Dimitris Papadopolous, Nathalie Peutz, Enrica Rigo, Oscar Salemink, Sanjay Sharma, Bart van der Steen, Helle Stenum, Sarah K. van Walsum, and Hans-Rudolf Wicker. I am also grateful to Thomas Spijkerboer and Martijn Stronks for their interest in my work and their persistence in facilitating my participation in this publication project.
This essay seeks to destabilise some of the nationalist and racial premises of conventional discourses and debates surrounding “inclusion” and “exclusion,” with particular reference to their currency for the politics of (im)migration (and race) in contemporary Europe. This interrogation of those presuppositions unfolds through a critique of the complacencies and complicities of Jürgen Habermas’s remarks on “multiculturalism,” not so much in order to contribute to any presumably exhaustive dissection of Habermas’s philosophical corpus, as such, but rather because his discourse around these preoccupations seems highly symptomatic and thus revelatory of the larger malaise with which this thematic issue is concerned.