[PAST EVENT] Let Freedom Ring? Ethnic Diversity and the Politics of Values in Today's Europe

December 3, 2015
5pm - 6:30pm
Washington Hall, Room 201
241 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Freedom is a fundamental value to philosophers and citizens, but political actors often deploy the term strategically to pursue a particular agenda.

In this talk, Bleich examines European debates about freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of movement. Being attuned to issues of politics and power can help make sense of debates about controversial issues such as banning racist speech, forbidding burqas in public, and barring refugees from entering European countries. It can also help identify the multiple values that citizens and societies grapple with when discussing divisive political issues that have roiled European countries for decades.

Erik Bleich joined the Middlebury faculty in 1999. His most recent book, The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism (Oxford University Press, 2011), explores how the United States and European liberal democracies balance a love of freedom with the need to curb racism and racist speech.

He has written articles on topics such as hate crimes, political violence, Islamophobia, ethnic riots, immigration and integration, and the legacies of colonialism on contemporary policymaking.

He is also the author of Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s, and the editor and a contributor to the book Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West.

Bleich graduated from Brown University in 1991 and received his master's and doctorate from Harvard University. He also received a Certificat d'Etudes Politiques from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris in 1990.

[[maurits,A Maurits van der Veen]], Associate Professor of Government