The fall of Rome and the retreat of European multiculturalism: a historical trope as a discourse of authority in public debate

Andrew Gillett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
211 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A feature of neo-conservative critiques during the course of this century, concerning public issues such as immigration and multicultural policy and Islamic terrorism, has been the use of a rhetoric based on historical imagery as a means to generate affective reactions to matters of debate. This article examines one example of such rhetoric, the claim by the economic historian Niall Ferguson that the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 represented a close parallel to the ‘Fall of the Roman empire’ in antiquity, which highlighted failures of France’s immigration policies. Interactions between media debate, ancient world scholarship, and popular history are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1390915
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCogent Arts and Humanities
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Fall of Rome
  • Immigration and multiculturalism policies, Europe
  • Neo-Medievalism
  • Neo-conservatism
  • Terrorism
  • Late Antiquity
  • Edward Gibbon
  • Niall Ferguson

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