chapter  8
Political subjectivity, political struggle and political education in times of precarisation
ByEVA REIMERS, LENA MARTINSSON
Pages 12

We have written this chapter in a Europe experiencing at least a million asylumseeking refugees within the continent and hundreds of thousands of people who are stopped at the European borders and treated as if they had no human rights. At the same time, political discourses and practises are moving in protectionist, nationalistic and racist directions, unprecedented since the inception of the Second World War. This dislocation of values also entails measures that threaten some of the fundamental traits of democracy. In Poland and Hungary, nationalistic governments undertake undemocratic measures such as limiting free press, free speech and equal rights. In other countries, such as France, Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, right-wing nationalist and racist parties are growing quickly and gaining considerable political influence in the parliaments and governments. Simultaneously, the dominant public discourse in news, press and – not least – social media are becoming increasingly hostile towards refugees and migrants. One pertinent example from Sweden is how the notion of ‘refugee crisis’ has changed from originally referring to the crisis for those who have to take great risks in their escape from war and oppression to now referring to a presumed crisis for the Swedish welfare systems due to the large numbers of asylum seekers. This situation has affected our thinking around politics, political subjectivity and how education can make a difference. In working on this book, we have found that the chapters can provide deeper understanding of what is happening, and of the possible role for education. This chapter is therefore both a comment and a reflection on the situation in Europe.