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Do I Belong?

Do I Belong?

Reflections from Europe

Edited by Antony Lerman

A collection of original essays by novelists, journalists and academics exploring belonging and identity in Europe

*Shortlisted for the JQ Wingate Literary Prize, 2017*

'Belonging' is both a fundamental human emotion and a political project that affects millions. Since its foundation in 1957, the European Union has encouraged people across its member states to feel a sense of belonging to one united community, with mixed results. Today, faced with the fracturing impacts of the migration crisis, the threat of terrorism and rising tensions within countries, governments within and outside the EU seek to impose a different kind of belonging on their populations through policies of exclusion and bordering.

In this collection of original essays, a diverse group of novelists, journalists and academics reflect on their own individual senses of European belonging. In creative and disarming ways, they confront the challenges of nationalism, populism, racism and fundamentalism.

Do I Belong? offers fascinating insights into such questions as: Why fear growing diversity? Is there a European identity? Who determines who belongs? Is a single sense of 'good' belonging in Europe dangerous? This collection provides a unique commentary on an insufficiently understood but defining phenomenon of our age.

Authors include: Zia Haider Rahman, Goran Rosenberg, Isolde Charim, Hanno Loewy, Diana Pinto, Nira Yuval-Davis and Doron Rabinovici among others.

Antony Lerman is Senior Fellow at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna and Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations at Southampton University. He is the author of The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist: A Personal and Political Journey (Pluto, 2012) and editor of Do I Belong? (Pluto, 2017).

'In today's world, no task is more crucial than the harmonious management of diversity. And none is more arduous. Whoever hopes to address that issue efficiently needs to listen to voices coming from all over the world and from all walks of life. Like the voices gathered in this book'

- Amin Maalouf, author of Disordered World and Balthasar’s Odyssey

'Voices like the ones in this book show us the beauty of European diversity and the quest of belonging in a pluralistic society. In times of rising populism and nationalist closure we need to ask questions of how we want us and our children to live in a complex world in order to find answers for the missing link of togetherness.'

- Walter Veltroni, writer, journalist and politician

'A necessary and thought-provoking book at a time of dangerous changes in Europe ... these essays are a good remedy against growing fear and hatred'

- Slavenka Drakulić, author of The Balkan Express: Fragments From the Other Side of War and They Would Never Hurt a Fly

Foreword by Gertraud Borea d'Olmo
Introduction by Antony Lerman
1. Europe’s Problem with Otherness - Zia Haider Rahman
2. When Do You Eat Lunch? - Isolde Charim
3. The Missing Link? Building Solidarity Among Black Europeans - Rob Berkeley
4. From the European Puzzle to a Puzzled Europe - Marion Demossier
5. The Bird’s Religion - eyda Emek
6. The Constructed European - Catherine Fieschi
7. Guilty Pleasure - Lars Ebert
8. A World of Difference - Brian Klug
9. A Never-Ending Story: My Belonging Journey - Viola Raheb
10. The Paris 2015 Attacks and the Eclipse of Senses of Belonging in Europe - Umut Bozkurt
11. Home and Homelessness in Europe - Göran Rosenberg
12. The Undiscovered Continent - Doron Rabinovici
13. Growing Up Under Different Skies - Diana Pinto
14. The Profound and Ambivalent Nature of European Belonging - Montserrat Guibernau
15. Questioning Belonging in the Post-Diasporic Museum - Hanno Loewy
16. The Accidental European - Nira Yuval-Davis
17. Belonging to the Contact Zone - Nora Sternfeld
18. The Unfinished Business of Our Own Belongings - Antony Lerman
Notes on Contributors

Published by Pluto Press in May 2017
Paperback ISBN: 9780745399942
eBook ISBN: 9781786801005

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