Category Archives: Populism

Who are ‘the people’ in populism? Reading Jan-Werner Müller

But the world is full of good men, I now reflect as I write these lines down, and yet the world drives hard into darkness and the blindness of blood. Robert Penn Warren, All The King’s Men, 1946. Populism is all the rage these days. Across the European continent, the rise to political prominence, influence […]

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A Note On The Visual Cultures of Racism

Racist speech does not function as an invitation to conversation. It does not offer reasons or arguments with which its audience can engage; and the visceral hostility it expresses effectively forecloses, rather than opens, the opportunity for further discussion. Caroline West, ‘Words That Silence? Freedom of expression and racist hate speech’, 2012. “We express ourselves […]

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American Ethnologist

As academic reviews go, it hardly gets any better than this review of my 2014 monograph Anders Breivik And The Rise Of Islamophobia (London and New York: Zed Books)  by Alisa Perkins at Western Michigan University in the American Anthropological Association (AAA)’s flagship journal American Ethnologist (AE), ranked 10 out of 84 anthropological journals worldwide […]

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The Worlds Made And Unmade By Religious Freedom

Hence, the very idea of freedom of religion is paradoxical; it is the freedom to be unfree in a particular kind of way. Michael Lambek, Is Religion Free?, 2015. Introducing the politics of religious freedom The Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo in Norway, my academic home for almost two years between 2013 […]

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Yearbook of Muslims in Europe

Together with Olav Elgvin at Fafo (Institute For Applied Social Research) I have been commissioned to write this year’s entry on ‘Norway’ in the annual Yearbook of Muslims in Europe (vol. 7, 2016), edited by Prof Oliver Scharbrodt at the University of Chester in the UK, which is out now. In this chapter, we focus […]

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Hate Speech: The Dark Twin Of Free Speech

Freedom of opinion is a farce, unless factual information is guaranteed, and the facts themselves are not in dispute. Hannah Arendt, ‘Truth and politics’, 1966. On October 20 2014, an unemployed fifty-seven year old white Norwegian man entered a supermarket in an Eastern suburb of the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Walking through the supermarket, he […]

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Presentation at Princeton University, Oct 2, 2015

THE RELATION OF FEAR AND PHOBIA TO SOCIAL INTEGRATION Presentation  for Conference on Xenophobia and Social Integration at the Institute For Advanced Studies (IAS)/Princeton Institute For International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), Princeton University, Oct 1 to 3 2015. Given by Sindre Bangstad (cand. Polit., PhD in Anthropology), Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway at Aaron Burr […]

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Routledge

Routledge has recently published the following anthology edited by Profs Ralph D. Grillo (Sussex University) and Marcel Maussen (University of Amsterdam) entitled ‘Regulation of Speech in Multicultural Societies’. Originally based on papers first presented at a conference at the University of Amsterdam in 2011, it was first published as a special issue of the Journal […]

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On the public voices of Muslim women

It’s not what you say that prompts it, it’s the fact that you are saying it. Mary Beard, ‘The Public Voice of Women’, London Review of Books, 2014. For Fatima Almanea (20), Norwegian librarian, Norwegian citizen. The past weeks in Norway have seen yet another round of harassment and death threats against young Norwegian females […]

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