Schierup, Carl‐Ulrich, The Right to Be Different: Multiculturalism and the Racialization of Scandinavian Welfare Politics; The Case of Denmark, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 7.3 (1994), 277–88
‘Multiculturalism’ as an influential ideology for structuring ethnic relations has become exposed to increasing critique also in the Scandinavian context. The paper discusses a racialized political debate, legislation, and institutional practices, taking Denmark as the prime example. An increasingly ‘dual welfare’ is becoming legitimized through a hegemonic culturalized language, consistently interpreting ‘the right to be different’ as ‘being different’, and ‘being different’ as being ‘non‐integrated’. In a society where public debate on ethnic and racial discrimination is less than rudimentary, tolerant claims of multiculturalist relativism are effectively turned upside down in the service of neo‐racism, the preachings of which are imperceptibly becoming adopted as the conventional wisdom. This calls for a discussion on ‘politics of recognition’ which brings the debate on the universalism and particularity out of the abstract, while focusing on the vicissitudes of contemporary democracy in a changing welfare state.