Eurowhiteness: Culture, Empire and Race in the European Project, Hans Kundnani

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An alternative account of the EU as a racialised project. Description The European Union is often seen as a cosmopolitan rejection of violent nationalism. Yet the idea of Europe has a long, problematic history—in medieval times, it was synonymous with Christianity; in the modern era, it became associated with ‘whiteness’. Eurowhiteness exposes the EU as a vehicle for imperial amnesia. Narratives of European integration emphasise the lessons of war and the Holocaust, but not the lessons of colonial history. The EU is about power as much as peace—and civic ideas of Europe are being displaced by ethnic and cultural ones. Since the 2015 refugee crisis, whiteness has become even more central to European identity—a troubling new turn in Europe’s long civilisational project. It is time to confront the relationship between ideas of Europe and ideas of race. Reviews ‘Hans Kundnani has been on an intellectual journey over several years, close to the heart of the European mythmaking machine… What has emerged from this slow disenchantment is a clear, elegantly written polemic. Some people won’t like it, which is probably why they should read it. … Kundnani’s book is more than an insightful one, it is a necessary one.’ — Financial Times ‘[Eurowhiteness] decries the continent’s subtler form of chauvinism. … By highlighting the way colonial horrors were memory-holed, Mr Kundnani rightly points out that other sins were mostly ignored.’ — The Economist ‘A fascinating book challenging the myths surrounding the EU. For some, this will be uncomfortable reading.’ — Anand Menon, Director of UK in a Changing Europe ‘A bracing challenge to the myths underlying the “European Project”, and to the hollowness of contemporary cosmopolitanism.’ — Kenan Malik, author of Not So Black and White ‘Many of [Kundnani’s] points… [are] instructive, useful and true.’ — Martin Sandbu, Financial Times
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