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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Elisabeth Kirtsoglou

Kirtsoglou, Elisabeth & Tsimouris, Giorgos (2018). Migration, Crisis, Liberalism: the cultural and racial politics of Islamophobia and “radical alterity” in modern Greece. Ethnic and Racial Studies 41(10): 1874-1892.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper attempts a critical and ethnographically informed reading of the complex assemblage of linkages between migration, racialization and liberal values in modern Greece as a symptomatic case of European attitudes to migration. In line with recent scholarship on racialization and Islamophobia, we discuss novel forms of racism, that support the construction of hierarchies and geographies of entitlement, going beyond notions of biological difference. Processes of inclusion and exclusion, we argue, rest on a meshwork of seemingly disparate identification markers that form the basis of universalist, hegemonic visions of citizenship. Migrants are ultimately expected by considerable sections of the Greek public to demonstrate their acceptance of an array of values regarded as “European”, and to manifest their support to (neo)liberal regimes of subjectification. We conclude by arguing that racialization can be traced back to an imagined “orient”, and just as well, to contemporary cultural and political imperialist projects.