The Emergence of Danish Neonationalism, Neoracism, and Populism in the Post-1989 World
” [The author] provides an excellent and courageous account of why Denmark of all places would become a Scandinavian node for the mainstream naturalization and legitimation of populist right-wing discourses on ‘non-Western’ immigrants in general, and Muslim immigrants in particular…It is crucial reading for anyone interested in how the populist right-wing not only in Scandinavia, but throughout Western Europe, have come to be so prominent during the last twenty years.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
“Readers…will find in this book much that is informative and new and will be heartened that the attributes of the bright, tenacious and unstoppable [Danish] TV detective Sarah Lund can also be found within the Danish academy.” · Race & Class
“[A] very important contribution to various debates on current Danish identity politics and more generally, on the developments of contemporary right-wing politics prevailing in Europe and the West.” · Gunvor Jónsson, International Migration Institute (IMI), University of Oxford
“The book offers an insightful background to the increased resistance towards ethnic minorities and the growing Islamophobia in Denmark. This development escalated with the Muhammad Cartoon Crisis that broke out in 2005 and later reverberated in different parts of the world.” · Anders Hellström, Malmö University
The politicizing of the Danish media and the emergence of neonationalism have polarized Danish society over the last couple of decades. In Parliament, the veil is compared to the swastika; Muslims in Denmark are compared to tumors in need of radiation; and Islam is called a plague that must be fought like Nazism. These three radical comments were made by members of Parliament. There seems to be no limit to what can be said in the Danish public, or what the majority allows itself to say about the country’s ethnic minorities including Muslims.
The Annoying Difference brings together research on three significant historical media events carried out over a period of thirteen years, in order to show the drastic changes and emerging fissures in Danish society and to expose the politicizing of Danish news journalism, which has consequences for the political representation and everyday lives of ethnic minorities in Denmark. In the eyes of the media, the general public, and mainstream perceptions these minorities were annoyingly different, as they refused to reduce their visible and aural differences.