The Relevance of Critical Race Theory to Europe
Title: The Relevance of Critical Race Theory to Europe
Author: MOSCHEL, Mathias
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
This Ph.D. thesis offers a fresh look at the difficult connection between race and law in the continental European context. So far, the analysis of race and racism in legal scholarship has mainly occurred in terms of traditional dogmatic criteria. Here instead, civil law jurisdictions of Europe will be looked at through the prism of Critical Race Theory, an American legal theory that has placed the problematic relationship between race and law in the United States at the core of its scholarship. What emerges from that perspective is that in spite of the general idea that race and ethnicity played only a marginal and exceptional role in mainland European legal systems, law is just as deeply involved in constructing and discriminating racial minorities, albeit in somehow different ways. In particular, this claim is substantiated by problematizing the historically conditioned reluctance in mainland European states to speak and research in terms of ‘race’. In the legal domain this position translates into proposals to eliminate race from constitutional and legislative provisions and into very narrow legal definitions and perceptions of what is racism and who is deemed to be racist. This ultimately happens to the detriment of the victims of racism and to the benefit of the white, Christian majority. Three case studies on the Roma, France and Italy then provide a more contextualized analysis and also show in which ways colonialism, anti-Semitism, anti-Roma and anti-Black racism, and Islamophobia are anything but exceptional and constitute the open or unspoken assumption in the relationship between law and race in the continental European context.
Defence date: 21 June 2011; Examining Board: Prof. Wojciech Sadurski, University of Sydney (former EUI/Supervisor) Prof. Kendall Thomas, Columbia University School of Law (External Supervisor) Prof. Ruth Rubio-Marín, EUI Prof. Gianfrancesco Zanetti, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
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