Matters of control: integration tests, naturalisation reform and probationary citizenship in the United Kingdom
[in special issue: Migration and Citizenship Attribution: Politics and Policies in Western Europe]
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36, (5), . (doi:10.1080/13691831003764367).
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In the new millennium there has been a shift away from multiculturalism and the politics of difference towards integration, assimilation and a gradual ‘thickening’ of political belonging. The alleged weaknesses of the multicultural model and advantages of thicker, communitarian notions of community are highlighted in recent discourses on migrant incorporation and increasingly reflected in citizenship and migration policies across European countries. In this paper I critically examine citizenship reform and civic integration policies in the United Kingdom and argue that the fashionable language of integration represents a politically dated and normatively deficient approach to ethnic diversity. I furnish the basic tenets of an alternative pluralist mode of inclusion based on respectful symbiosis and the ‘letting be’ of groups of migrant origin, and examine the conditions for such a model's empirical implementation.
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