McLaughlin, Eugene and Neal, Sarah
Who can speak to race and nation? Intellectuals, public policy formation and the future of Multi-ethnic Britain Commission
[in special issue: Rethinking Convergence/Culture]
Cultural Studies, 21, (6), . (doi:10.1080/09502380701470791).
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This article examines the production and publication of the Parekh Report (2000) by drawing upon two related current debates - the decline of the public intellectual and the necessity for a public sociology. It argues that both of these debates have failed to engage with concrete examples of public intellectual labour, with the complexities of public communication and have been reticent as to which particular intellectual voices are able to enter the public sphere. The article argues that the intellectually orientated, multiculturally constituted Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain Commission which authored the report and the report’s moment of publication both offer sites in which these critiques can be developed. The article foregrounds the question as to who is entitled to inaugurate, participate in and shape public debates on race, nation, and national identity and evidences the difficulties of attempting to do so in a ‘race volatile’, anti-intellectual and heavily mediated political milieu.
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