Citizenship and Immigration in Postwar Britain

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jun 1, 2000 - Political Science - 316 pages
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In this contentious and ground-breaking study, the author draws on extensive archival research to provide a new account of the transforamtion of the United Kingdom into a multicultural society through an analysis of the evolution of immigration and citizenship policy since 1945. Against the prevailing academic orthodoxy, he argues that British immigration policy was not racist but both rational and liberal. - ;In this ground-breaking book, the author draws extensively on archival material and theortical advances in the social science literature. Citizenship and Immigration in Post-war Britain examines the transformation since 1945 of the UK from a homogeneous into a multicultural society. Rejecting a dominant strain of sociological and historical inquiry emphasizing state racism, Hansen argues that politicians and civil servants were overall liberal relative to the public, to which they owed their office, and that they pursued policies that were rational for any liberal democratic politician. He explains the trajectory of British migration and nationality policy - its exceptional liberality in the 1950s, its restrictiveness after then, and its tortured and seemingly racist definition of citizenship. The combined effect of a 1948 imperial definition of citizenship (adopted independently of immigration), and a primary commitment to migration from the Old Dominions, locked British politicians into a series of policy choices resulting in a migration and nationality regime that was not racist in intention, but was racist in effect. In the context of a liberal elite and an illiberal public, Britain's current restrictive migration policies result not from the faling of its policy-makers but from those of its institutions. -
 

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Contents

The British Nationality
35
The Conservatives and Immigration
80
The Race Relations Act 1965
127
The Kenyan Asians Crisis of 1968
153
Heath Powell and Migration Policy 19681974
179
The British Nationality Act 1981
207
The Institutional
222
Conclusion
244
Appendix A
265
Index
287
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