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Introduction to the Special Issue “Policing Ethnicity: Between the Rhetoric of Inclusion and the Policies and Practices of Exclusion”

Magazine article
Authors Abby Peterson
Malin Åkerström
Published in Social Inclusion
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 1-4
ISSN 2183-2803
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 1-4
Language en
Keywords ethnicity; policing; social exclusion; social inclusion
Subject categories Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


On the one hand European countries talk the humanitarian and cosmopolitan politics of inclusion of ethnic minorities with a battery of integration policies, on the other hand these same societies practice the policies and practices of exclusion. In this special issue we address this disjuncture and what we refer to as the European moral dilemma, in much the same way that Gunnar Myrdahl, in his influential study from 1944—The American Dilemma—pointed out that the oppression of Black people living in the US was at odds with the country’s moral grounds, its founding creed that all men are created equal and are endowed “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of Independence). This special issue does not only include articles from European contexts, however the majority are analyses of European ethnic minority policies and practices. Nonetheless, all of the articles address in different ways how the rhetoric of inclusion is all too often at odds with the practices and policies of exclusion and control. In focus is what we call the policing of ethnicity, that is, the governance of inclusion and exclusion along ethnic lines.

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