What does xenophobia mean in the Ender game

Open borders and xenophobia

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

2.0 boundaries and identities
2.1 The nation state and national identity
2.2 The open republic and cosmopolitan identity

3.0 Xenophobia
3.1 The foreign and xenophobia
3.2 Study "The Devaluation of Others"
3.3 The tendency to xenophobia: nation state vs. republic

4.0 Open borders as a solution?
4.1 Waltz: Counter arguments
4.2 Discussion using the example of the EU

5.0 Summary and Conclusion

1.0 Introduction

Different border models formulate different ideas about a society. The nation-state closes its borders in order to preserve the homogeneity of its culture, while the republic is constitutionally open to foreign cultures and does not close its borders completely.1 Therefore, assuming that multiculturalism reduces xenophobia, one might think that open borders leave little room for xenophobia towards other cultures. According to the former German Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the open borders within the European Union can reduce xenophobia:

“Open borders within the European Union (EU) and the associated freedom of movement are an important achievement. Instead of isolation and border controls, coexistence in the EU is shaped by the freedom of movement and travel without borders, as well as the free exchange of goods and services. This is the visible expression for overcoming previous hostilities and for peaceful coexistence "[2]

However, open borders alone are no guarantee of peaceful coexistence. (Example: Refugees & Fortress Europe) In the Federal Republic of Germany, xenophobia is still an issue, as can be seen, for example, from the Islamophobic citizens' movement “Pegida”. Even Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger objects that the positive aspects of the opening of the European border that she mentioned do not necessarily correspond to reality.3 This raises fundamental questions about xenophobia: how is it influenced by borders, and where does the influence stop?

I will examine these questions on the basis of the thesis that in an imaginary world in which all borders are open, the expression of xenophobia declines. As a basis for this thesis, I define the open republic and its form of open borders and contrast them with the definition of the nation-state. Then I deal with the results of the study “The Devaluation of the Other” by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung from 2011, which investigates xenophobia in Europe. Through this study I will define xenophobia and use it to compare the tendency towards xenophobia in the nation state with that in the open republic. In chapter four I present relevant aspects of Michael Walzer’s social theory and finally use the results to discuss the effects of open borders on xenophobia using the example of the European Union. The conclusion summarizes the results and gives an outlook on further questions.

2.0 boundaries and identities

2.1 The nation state and national identity

The nation state is an ideology and is particularly defined by its sovereignty, i.e. its political independence from other states.4 You could say that the nation state wants to differentiate itself from the rest of the world. At the same time, he strives for a homogeneous society, as Oberndörfer puts it: "Anyone who does not participate in the" substance of equality "(Carl Schmitt) of the state people [...] is considered a disruptive and risk factor of national unity [...]".5 The homogenization of society is a tendency which, according to Oberndörfer, occurs in all forms of the nation state, but which can nonetheless relate to various characteristics. Braitling and Reese-Schäfer also speak of various concepts of nationality that can be based on "[...] ethnic, historical, religious, linguistic or democratic-republican [...]".6

These aspects are the subject of the national identity that the nation-state prescribes for its society. The government of a state with this ideology always wants to stand above society: as in the definition of Karl W. Deutsch "[...] the politically mobilized people [...] is a people in the possession of a state".7 After all, in order to implement the concept of homogeneity, it must specifically exclude, deport or even physically destroy the undesired population groups. According to Oberndörfer, the individual aspects of national identity are in most cases based on history. These rigid and one-sided aspects are not only imprecise and mostly consist of myths, but are based on a concept of culture that sees culture as uniform: “In reality, however, the history of cultures and peoples never shows only 'one' and, moreover, homogeneous identity on. Cultures and peoples are always diverse and dynamic, structures that change in their history ”.8 In this respect, foreigners or immigrants have a hard time - they are usually prevented from entering the country. As a result, according to Oberndörfer, “[...] the individual and collective cultural and ethnic diversity is impoverished”.9

In summary, it can be said that by striving for homogeneity, nation states exclude those who, due to their culture, ethnicity, language, etc., cannot correspond to their national identity. How this affects xenophobia will be discussed later. First, I introduce the theory of the open republic.

2.2 The open republic and cosmopolitan identity

The republic is a form of government and I am aware that I cannot directly compare it with the ideology of the nation state. However, a form of government like the republic is also based on various ideas of how a society is constituted. I would like to draw your attention to these fundamentally different ideas here. Since there are many different forms of the republic and I cannot explain all of them due to lack of space, I continue to refer to the definition of Oberndörfer here. According to this, the society of a republic is held together by the common constitution: "The livelihood of the republic is constitutional patriotism, the active identification of the citizens with the political order and the values ​​of the republic".10 At the same time, it strives for cultural diversity instead of homogeneity. This claim is favored by the constitution: the identity of the citizens is not based on a common culture, but on rights that derive "[...] from the’ nature ’of’ human beings ".11 The republic thus enables each individual to belong - regardless of skin color, mother tongue or belief. Since it identifies itself through the constitution, the identity of the republic is not national but cosmopolitan: “A state that focuses on enforcing the rule of law and securing the freedom and integrity of its citizens is a state that is for everyone can be accessible ”.12

Oberndörfer thinks that every republic must be considered a open describe.13 Yves Bizeul also uses this term and argues in his essay “Nationalism, patriotism and loyalty to the open republic” that as a citizen of an open republic one can feel that one belongs to other countries at the same time. This “nested mutual loyalty” is what defines the idea of ​​cosmopolitanism.14 The open republic is thus a form of government whose borders are open - in the sense that every person who agrees to the rights and obligations formulated in the constitution can belong to it.

In the further course of this work I will take up the theses explained here and refer to the open borders in Europe. Before discussing whether xenophobia would be reduced in a world of open borders, however, I shall first dedicate myself to the concept of xenophobia and the conditions to which it is subject.

3.0 Xenophobia

3.1 The foreign and xenophobia

Which does ______________ mean strange ? The term initially describes something unknown, different, which in its most common usage refers to places and cultures.15 It can arouse curiosity, but it can also trigger fear. Fear of the stranger, however, is not a sufficient condition for xenophobia, says Gansterer: "It only becomes primitive where it becomes xenophobia [...]".16 So where does fear end, where does hostility begin - and how is it expressed?

There are various forms of xenophobia, so I would like to refer to the descriptions of the study “The Devaluation of the Other” by the Friedrich Ebert Institute, which will also be the focus of the following section. She examines the extent of xenophobia in Europe on the basis of data collections from eight European countries. The study understands xenophobia to be a negative attitude towards certain groups of people to whom one does not feel that one belongs. These groups often include immigrants, with xenophobia in Europe particularly directed against "[...] dark-haired people from Muslim countries [...]".17 However, there is no universal way of saying which groups xenophobia is directed against. Even immigrants cannot categorically be called victims. In the following I would like to show why this is the case and how xenophobia arises.

3.2 Study "The Devaluation of Others"

An important aspect of xenophobia is that it is not directed against individuals but against specific social groups. These are characterized by properties such as skin color and language, which can be recognized without special knowledge of the person: “A person is not devalued on the basis of his personal characteristics [...]. It is completely irrelevant to what extent this person sees himself as a member of this group or whether this group membership can be determined by facts ”.18 So even if xenophobic acts are directed against a certain person, the real trigger is hostility towards a strange group into which that person is categorized. Many northern Europeans associate dark-skinned people with Islam - even if the latter do not feel they belong to the religion at all.


1 see website 7

2 Schneider and Siemens 2014: 7

3 see ibid.

4 see Oberndörfer in Hentges and Butterwegge 2009: 237

5 Oberndörfer in Hentges and Butterwegge 2009: 240

6 Braitling and Reese-Schäfer 1991: 8

7 Age 1985: 16

8 Oberndörfer in Hentges and Butterwegge 2009: 241

9 ibid.

10 Oberndörfer in Hentges and Butterwegge 2009: 249

11 Oberndörfer in Hentges and Butterwegge 2009: 239

12 Schneider and Siemens 2014: 88

13 see Oberndörfer in Hentges and Butterwegge 2009: 239

14 Bizeul 2007: 38

15 see website 2

16 Gansterer: 1

17 Zick et al. 2011: 45

18 Zick et al. 2011: 32