ThroughoutEurope xenophobic and cultural racist acts have become one of the most criticalchallenges facing Western European countries. Hostility towards immigrants hasbeen contentiously formed in the entire spectrum of politics.
Specifically, after 2001, September 11th, theupheaval of xenophobic violence became widespread over Western Europe. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands there were anumber of attacks against foreigners of that year. In the aftermath of the 9/11attacks, in Netherlands waves of xenophobic violence rapidly spread out (Braun2011). While, the eastern and westernEuropean xenophobia concluded to be at its highest rate. Western Europeanpeople have become more worried about their burgeoning immigrant communities inthe meantime the eastern European public have tended to focus on the ethnic, religious,and regional squabbles of the past (Taras 2009). Additionally, the Madrid and London bombingsled Western European countries to challenge more with illegal immigrants. Thisis certainly true in the Netherlands, which recently appears obsessed withpreserving the indigenous against the foreign. The September 11 eventsresurrected political party of Pim Fortuyn in Netherlands.
He was known withhis populist anti-Islam and anti-establishment rhetoric, found a place amongthe Dutch electorate. However, how did in the Netherlands the xenophobicdiscourses gained popularity in the last two decades? What is the propulsiveforce behind of rising xenophobia and racism in the Netherlands in post 2000s?To understand the nature of Xenophobic and racist movements occurring inNetherlands, firstly, article summarizes the theories that are generally explainingthe origins of xenophobia and racism and analyzes the extreme violence inWestern Europe. Then, the paper will shift into driving engines of xenophobiaand racism in Dutch society in the recent years. These are main points aroundwhich the discussion has recently evolved.Thethreat of an ever-growing xenophobia which can turn into hostility towardsforeigners and into right-wing extremism is becoming more and more obvious notonly in the Netherlands but also in other European countries like Germany,France and Hungary.
According to Winkler’s(1994) findings, the fundamental adjustments within the innovative thrusts ledto a lack of orientation and to a state of uncertainty of people in Europewhich is consequently cause the rise of xenophobia. Young people are influencedby a loss of personal ties and a lack of ethical orientation along with a lackof perspective for the future. Specifically, this has driven young people toresort to violence against immigrants. Commonly, it is either thought that theincrease in xenophobia is originated by rising unemployment or by the worseningeconomic and social position of people. More broadly, young people’s fear ofnot finding a job or fear of not having an opportunity to be successful andreceive a certain status in society haveled to significantly negative effects for the foreigners. Young people arescared of being failures in their jobs and at the same time they project thisfear onto foreigners. Therefore, immigrants seen a vital obstacle for developmentand most of times, they become victims of the right wing extremists whowithstand with fear of social come down and accuse the foreigners. On thecontrary to this, author also argues that political deficit is anotherimportant element which consolidates xenophobia, as many politicians argue thewishes of the marginal group of right-wing voters must be met (Winkler 1994).
Differentlyfrom aforementioned assumptions, Schuster’s essay focused on refugees andxenophobia in which the major stress on asylum-seekers, mostly in the UnitedKingdom, but also in France and Ireland. According to her research, Europeanliberal democracies share a common commitment to granting asylum to those inneed of protection, a commitment made legally binding by signing the 1951Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Moreover, they share a commitment to principlesof equality and non-discrimination. Nevertheless, in recent years Europeanstates have embraced practices that allow discrimination against and unequaltreatment of asylum-seekers, and there can be seen some threats from governmentproposals to the 1951 Convention itself. Schuster interrogates some of theunderlying assumptions of asylum policies in the United Kingdom specifically,yet in addition with reference to other European states, contending thatcommon-sense assertions of the ‘need for control’, which underlie thedifferential treatment of asylum-seekers especially, are articulations of aracism at the core of European states. Author additionally argues that, at theborder, racism converges in a complex and shifting way with class and gender,creating a hierarchy of the excluded. Subsequently to discussion of racism andthese different modalities of exclusion, Schuster examines practices throughwhich this racism is explained (Shuster 2010). On the other hand, Clay andCole’s paper argues for an acknowledgement of the ascent in Euro racism, whichis a combination of post-colonial racism, anti-Semitism and fascism as well ashighlight the notion of ‘Euro-culture’.
By examining Euro racism, an escalatingphenomenon, it is stated that this undermines to overwhelm the entirecontinent. And there is an urgent need for a counter-offensive, for a massanti-racist or supremacist movement connected Europe wide. He states that onemethod of promoting anti-racism in the European countries is can be achievedvia education. In the light of the expanding threat of Euro racism, theanti-racist networks in education, like the Anti-Racist Teacher EducationNetwork (ARTEN) need to build up links Europe-wide and that the Association forTeacher Education in Europe (ATEE) ought to likewise broaden its brief to go upagainst issues of racism. Paper draws conclusion by placing anti-racisteducation in an extensive movement for the development towards equality andsocial justice.
In this regard, teachereducation must go beyond the rhetoric of empowerment, since this is trivialwithout a reasonable comprehension of the types of oppression and of ways tocombat it. Strengthening that revolves around on ‘anti-oppression’ is abouttrue democracy and the antidote to rampant individualism and nationalism, andto racism and Euro racism (Clay and Cole, 2006). Theoriesof xenophobia and racismNevertheless,in Raymond Taras’s (2009) article implies that xenophobes are thought to bethose people who harbor negative states to mind of non-natives. A broad writingconcentrate the mental premise of xenophobia has indicated how outside dangersincrement group solidarity and ethnocentrism while, advancing narrow mindednessand close-mindedness.
Correspondingly, foreigners are viewed as bearers of analternate culture with the possibility to undermine the integrity of one’s owncountry. Since every culture comprises of an extraordinary blend of introductions,non-natives inevitably undermine to change the residential culture through thepresentation of new introductions. The outcome is that a common perspective offoreigners as diminishing these societies may make transnational xenophobia (Taras2009).Hence,on the other hand, Andreas Wimmer’s (1997) paper attempts to explain predictorsof rising xenophobia and racism through these theories; rational theory,functionalism, discourse theory and phenomenology.
Accordingto Rational choice theory, xenophobia and racism originate from an intensivecompetition between migrants and local groups over working opportunities andinexpensive residential housing particularly, in times of economic crisis. On one hand, it appears to be more likely thatethnic clashes and also xenophobic developments are pursued over aggregateproducts. Also, it is contended that negative attitudes against outsidersoutperform among individuals who unemployed are extended period of time or who fearthe loss of their job or who really work with non-natives.
Incontrast, functionalism claims that the social uniqueness of the foreigners ismade in charge of contentions with the local. The foreigners are seen unable tointegrate as they come for the most part from agrarian and semi primitivesocial orders which have not encountered the Reformation and Enlightenment.Likewise, lack of ability of migrants to coordinate into the class structure ofthe host society, led to marginalization or exclusion from locals as beingculturally or even racially distinctive. In the functionalist prospect, thefailure of specific minorities to coordinate into the structure and culture ofthe host society drives the larger part of locals to xenophobic dismissal.Accordingto discourse theory, rejection of immigrants from social group is caused byfailure to assimilate and social distinction which is shaping the essentialcomponents of an idea of ‘otherness’. Most importantly, it is the authority or semi-officialpower holders who promote discourses like immigrant rejection orself-strengthening in order regulate it in multicultural social work or inmigration approaches. Along these lines the results of governmental issues aremade imperceptible on the grounds that the social distinction of the workersbears the fault for avoidance and impoverishment, while xenophobia can beclarified as social clash. According to final analyses, mass media coverageheld the ‘racism of the media’ accountable for intensified defensivenesstowards ethnic ‘others’ and rising attacks on foreigners.
Moreover,for a phenomenological approach, xenophobia and racism are projected as methodsof reassuring the national self and its boundaries, as attempts at making senseof the world in times of crisis. With arr?val of immigrants the social compactbreaks up and the balance of forces among distinctive groups changes in termsof economic and political developments, as the consequence, the institutionalarrangement that is related with nationalistic self-image run into a crisis.The others become the ones who break up communal harmony. In the Wimmer’s view,xenophobic and racist discourses serves not only to reassure identity of anational group when nationalistic self-images run into crisis but yet, it is afundamental component of a political struggle about who merits the privilege tobe administered by the state and society, it is a competition for the collectivegoods of the modern state (Wimmer 1997).Xenophobiaand racism in NetherlandsClearly,dislike of the multicultural society has grown in in recent years that are alsotrue for the Netherlands. According to Robert Braun (2001), national as well asinternational developments, such as the 9/11 attacks, the killing of PimFortuyn, a Muslim insurgency against Dutch troops in Iraq, tend to have aneffect on the eruption of xenophobic violence in the Netherlands (Braun 2011). Also,islamphobia has been increased throughout country since the 11 Septemberattacks of 2001 while racism can be rooted Netherlands old colonial order. Duringthe colonial period, Netherland established hierarchy of citizenship, in whichgender, race, class and sexuality intersected.
The white European men were privileged citizenboth in the motherland as well as the colonies. The citizenship of white Europeanwomen along with the Dutch citizens from the former colonies of Suriname andthe Dutch East Indies was meant to be secondary citizens. However, nowadays,these Dutch citizens from the former colonies of Suriname and ‘the Dutch EastIndies’ are more or less accepted members of Dutch society and are sometimesrepresented as models of successful integration into Dutch society. Thepolitical actors reinvented them as ‘integrated’ to present Dutch citizens ofMuslim background as ultimate others.
Thus, gave legitimacy to the right-wingDutch populists to attack especially ‘Muslims’ and cause rise of xenophobichatreds among Dutch population (Jones 2016).Movingon contemporary reasons of increasing xenophobia and racism in Netherlands,Sniderman and Hagendoorn (2004) paper reveals that the threats to economicwell-being and cultural identity is considered to be major driving negativeevaluation towards immigrants. A threat to a group’s identity and way of lifeinherently is a collective threat whilst threats to economic interests may beperceived by individuals as threats to their own economic well-being or asthreats to the economic wellbeing of their entire group. Additionally,immigrants correlated to problems of crime at a popular level. Overall, threatsto an individual or society as whole can be concluded in threats to cultural identityand to economic well-being.Theeconomic concern of immigrants is the driving powers to come to Netherlands overthe last decade. The Netherlands has been among the best of the best of the OECDcountries with GDP increasing and thus encourages more migrants which later onwill end up posing a major threat to economic life of Dutch people. Secondly,despite of economic concern, the impact of concerns about national identity iscontingent on the prominence of contrasts between groups.
In particular, Dutchpeople mainly concern over group identity. Because many of the immigrantminorities in the Netherlands stand out due to darker skin color, dress, absenceof fluency in Dutch, and due to educationaland labor market handicaps. Ironically, these concerns about either economicwell-being or cultural identity influence citizen responses to immigrantminorities and issues of immigration. As a consequence, perceived threats ofviolence and vandalism lead to correlation to hostility to refugees. Particularly,these perceived threats linked only to hostility to Moroccans and refugees.Whereas, in terms of economic threat, Surinamese, refugees and asylum seekersare perceived the ones, from this comes major threat. And the analyses ofeconomic interest fall in between threats to safety and threats to culturalidentity (Sniderman and Hagendoorn 2004).Perceivedthreats to economic well-being at both the personal and the national level arevital predictors of hostility for every minority group.
Realistic conflict isone of the most strenuously developed explanations of intergroup conflict.According to the result of research, concerns about economic well-being areactually a major source of hostility to immigrants and immigration. Morebroadly, the clash of economic interests matters at two different levels.Initially, perceived threats to individual and subsequently to nationaleconomic interests arouse to oppose immigrants. And threats to economicinterest matter mainly for those who are not prosperous economically. However, itis still argued that calculations of economic advantage are a basis ofreactions towards immigrants and immigration (Sniderman and Hagendoorn 2004).
Similarly, according to Robert Braun’s (2011), first and foremost, the strugglesover scarce resources such as over jobs were viewed one of the most essentialdeterminants ethnic protests. Primarily, these ethnic protests concentrated onethnic rivalry or competition, in which, the struggle occur between ethnicgroups immigrants. Some ethniccompetition theorists argue that, ethnic groups mobilize against the immigrantswhen they start to experience decrease of their economic well-being and theydirectly accuse new-comers of being the reason of economic shrinkage. This forthe most part happens when both immigration rates and unemployment are gettinghigher. Additionally, the Deprivation scholars set forward that people who arethe most in deprive in the public arena, engage in collective violence againstoutsiders. When their living conditions are bad or have been experiencing badtimes, individuals scapegoat foreigners for their issues.
This theory was hasbeen important in clarifying the rising extreme violence in Western Europe(Braun 2011).Andon the other side, perceived threat to the Dutch culture is the strongestfactor of hostility to minorities rather the economic threat in Dutch society.In short, most obviously, perceiving a threat to Dutch culture has by far thelargest impact in provoking hostility toward minority groups. That is true forevery group-Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese, and refugees and asylum seekers incase of Netherlands. Two kinds of analyses were conducted in which peopleresponded by saying that they are more felt threatened in terms of culturalidentity. However, beyond the threat of their cultural identity claim, indeedpeople are likely concerned about protecting their own economic well-being.
Inthis respect, study of Sniderman and Hagendoorn (2004) give countenance to ahypothesis of culture conflict in which a perception that Dutch culture isthreatened is the dominant factor in causes a strong negative reaction toimmigrant minorities. A perception of threat to cultural values surpasses theperception of threat over economic well- being. Because locals deeply feeldifferences in a set of values and belief between their and minorities or newcomers, and solely perceive them incompetent to assimilation.
The notion ofbeing incompetent in cultural integration accordingly urges tension, yetsometimes leads to exertion of violence over immigration in Western Europeandemocracies are rooted in a genuine conflict of values (Sniderman andHagendoorn 2004).Further,Robert Braun’s (2011) article makes use of a unique dataset and diffusionmodels, meanwhile examine the geographical and temporal growth of waves ofracist violence in the Netherlands during the bitter period 2001-2003. It wasthe years when Netherland lost its reputation as a multicultural paradise. Theauthor contends that once violence starts, with spread of information about formeruprisings in other regions of state lead to intenseness of the legitimacy ofxenophobic violence as an instrument to express dissatisfaction with immigrationpolitics. Accordingly, as a result of wide- ranging information mentionedabove, it is more conceivably that tolerant areas can transform into xenophobicplace.
In accordance with these findings, international comparative researchargues that the radical right is likely to transform to violent forms ofmobilization in countries where right-wing political parties are powerless dueto the absence of anti- immigrant sentiments in parliament decreased down thesuccess chances of less troublesome strategies.Accordingto his findings, racist violence evolves in two steps. Firstly, it originates in large populousregions. The initial riots bestow legitimacy on violent forms of mobilizationand secondly, information about riots on antipathy to immigrants spreads toother regions through mass media, turning violence from local case into asupra-local phenomenon. Briefly, the outcome of research provides evidence forthe fact that former riots increase the legitimacy of violence in differentplaces. Nevertheless, author disagrees with the former research on mobilizationwhich suggests that proxies for ethnic competition, deprivation and politicalopportunity structures are not necessarily related to the outbreak of violence.Accordingly, only population size can determine where violence starts.
Togetherthese findings suggest that waves of xenophobia starts in big cities and subsequentlyspread to neighboring places and through mass media sweeps to more distantplaces, encouraging more people to mobilize against foreigners (Braun 2011).Inconclusion, few explanations of xenophobia and racism reviewed to understandreal motives of people extorting violence against foreigners in their owncountry. As aforementioned before, fight for scarce jobs or housing is onefactor of rising xenophobia and on the other hand, cultural clash that istriggered by migratory movements across countries and continents is seenanother essential element behind the increasing xenophobia in Europe and aswell as in Netherlands. Foreigners are seen as carriers of a different culturewith the great potential to threaten the integrity of one nation. Additionally,they will change the domestic culture through the introduction of neworientations.
Moreover, it will not be incorrect to say that xenophobia andracism is a product of political and administrative elites in order to seekpolitical power. In case of Netherlands, racism has a lengthy history in its cultureand became part of political legacy. Hence, xenophobic discourse serves toreassure identity when nationalistic self-images enter into crisis. Myhypothesis goes along with phenomenology theory in explaining rise ofxenophobia in Dutch society. When there happened sudden increase of immigrantsin Netherlands, the social order and communal harmony breaks up and as aconsequence of these changes nationalistic self-image run into a crisis.
Correspondingly,Sniderman and Hagendoorn (2004) study, results showed that in Netherlands theconsiderations of national identity dominate economic advantage in provoking exclusionaryreactions to immigrant.