In 2010, the leaders of Germany, Britain, and France each declared that multiculturalism had failed in their countries. Over the past decade, a growing consensus in Europe has voiced similar decrees.
But what do these ominous proclamations, from across the political spectrum, mean? From the influx of immigrants in the 1950s to contemporary worries about refugees and terrorism, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe examines the historical development of multiculturalism on the Continent, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Rita Chin argues that there were few efforts to institute state-sponsored policies of multiculturalism, and those that emerged were pronounced failures virtually from their inception.
She shows that today’s crisis of support for cultural pluralism isn’t new but actually has its roots in the 1980s. Chin looks at the touchstones of European multiculturalism, from the urgent need for laborers after World War II to the public furor over the publication of The Satanic Verses and the question of French girls wearing headscarves to school.