Racial capitalism, Islamophobia and austerity




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Oxford University Press



Peer reviewed



Explorations of Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism predominantly focus on issues of security policy, and media representations, set against the backdrop of the global “War on Terror”. This scholarship explores the racialisation of Muslim populations across different global contexts, including the UK, Europe, the US, and China. However, Islamophobia has also been articulated through concerns about the economy, jobs, public services, and national debt in times of austerity. Narratives have emerged around Muslim families in the UK receiving “excessive” welfare benefits, preferential access to social housing and pressuring public services through “breeding”. This article offers a new way of thinking about the links between Islamophobia and austerity through an engagement with the literature on racial capitalism. The article shows how constructions of Muslim populations as the “undeserving poor” are central to the intersectional racialised and gendered disentitlements of austerity. The analysis draws on the findings from twelve interviews and a six-person focus group with Muslim subjects based in London to illustrate the political economy of austerity Islamophobia.


Research funded by the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA) at De Montfort University. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Islamophobia, Austerity, Racial capitalism, Intersectionality, British Muslims, Political economy, Gentrification, Deservingness


Ali, N. and Whitham, B. (2020) Racial capitalism, Islamophobia and austerity. International Political Sociology,


Research Institute

Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)