THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE: AN OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF BRITISH MULTICULTURALISM
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As multiculturalism in the United Kingdom passes to a ‘post’ phase of existence, at least in academic and political discourse, it is important to consider the lingering impact of over fifty years of its presence in the form of Race Relations and integration measures. This article aims at a critical reassessment of the overarching strategies that have developed over the last half-century in relation to the integration of immigrants by putting the legacy of British multiculturalism into a firm historical and socio-political context; by marrying immigration and integration policies with normative models of integration in the hope of drawing a certain causality between them; and finally by highlighting the changes that have taken shape amidst the continuity of certain shared principles or frames of reference. The first part of the article looks at immigration and integration policies in Britain through a historical perspective; the second section delves into the concept of integration itself and its complex manifestations in British politics and policies; finally, a critical review of the development of these policies and their 21st century manifestations and outcomes are discussed in the third section. The analysis shows that the United Kingdom has, over the last decade, seen an ever-stronger intertwining of immigration and integration policies towards a robust civic integration approach, made evident in the introduction of citizenship and language testing schemes and strict pre-conditions on entry. Meanwhile, the turn in anti-discrimination legislation has been rather subtler. It has extended its reach to other areas of inequality, focusing on more pressing, or less contentious minority group support, such as women and LGBT rights, whilst retaining a measure of ethnic and national minority protection.
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