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  • British Multiculturalism after Empire: Immigration, Nationality, and Citizenship

    Richard T. Ashcroft, Mark Bevir

    Chapter from the book: Ashcroft R. & Bevir M. 2019. Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth: Comparative Perspectives on Theory and Practice.


    Chapter 2 surveys British multicultural policy and law, situating recent developments within the overall context of postwar British politics. Decolonization posed a fundamental threat to British power and identity. In responding to this dilemma, UK government actors have drawn on different political traditions in ways that have combined to alter the trajectory of multiculturalism. The chapter traces the development of a distinctive form of “British multiculturalism” which marries tough immigration controls with an internal regime of citizenship rights, race relations legislation and pluralistic accommodations for minorities. This approach has persisted in its broad outlines from the mid-1960s until the present, but recently there has been public repudiation of some aspects. The chapter shows that Brexit and renewed calls for Scottish independence are part of current disagreements over multiculturalism, which is in turn entangled in broader national debates over immigration, nationality, citizenship and the basic purpose of the British polity.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Ashcroft R. & Bevir M. 2019. British Multiculturalism after Empire: Immigration, Nationality, and Citizenship. In: Ashcroft R. & Bevir M (eds.), Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.73.b

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    Published on July 12, 2019