The Failure of British Multiculturalism: Lessons for Europe
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Graduate School for Social Research, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Polish Academy of Sciences
Publication date: 2006-12-29
Polish Sociological Review 2006;156(4):409-424
This paper acknowledges the need for greater convergence of immigrant and ethnic minorities integration policies in Europe and critically examines the general conviction that Great Britain is the source of best practice in this policy area. The articles’ main thesis is that contrary to the commonly held view, Multiculturalism as an integration policy is not effective and adequate. This claim is supported by the three groups of arguments. First of all, Multiculturalist policies have led to ghettoisation of the society and ethnically-driven conflicts instead of integration. Moreover, such policies often violate basic principles of democracy and equality as well as abuse individual human rights in the name of the rights of cultural groups. Finally, multiculturalist approach is inadequate especially at the times of “super-diversity,” in other words, unprecedented inter- and intra-group diversification. In conclusion principles for the future common EU integration policy that can be derived from the British experience are suggested.
Paper received Honourable Mention Award from the Award Committee for the best seminar papers in 2005/2006 of the GSSR , Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Polish Academy of Sciences.
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