Immigration and the Nation-State: The United States, Germany, and Great Britain

By Christian Joppke | Go to book overview

7 Between Citizenship and Race: Great Britain

If postwar immigration led to a widening of citizenship in Germany, it led to its narrowing in Great Britain. As we saw in Chapter 4 , British citizenship reforms were not meant to help integrate immigrants, as in Germany, but to keep them out. However, it would be wrong to conclude that citizenship was irrelevant to the British debate on immigrant integration. In fact, the British case shows in the extreme citizenship's dual nature to be 'externally exclusive' and 'internally inclusive' (Brubaker, 1992 : ch. 2), making it deployable for purposes of immigration control and immigrant integration. On the control side, the legacy of empire had left Britain devoid of a national citizenship, in which identity would coincide with formal nationality. Consequently, the devolution of empire meant adjusting an over-inclusive nationality to an exclusive identity based on 'blood and culture' (Paul, 1997 : 26). However, the British debate on immigrant integration also occurred in the idiom of citizenship, now understood in the Marshallian sense as progressively expanding equal rights. The Marshallian citizenship idiom is visible, for instance, in the Labour government's influential 1965 White Paper Immigration from the Commonwealth, which stipulated that it could be 'no question of allowing . . . [the commonwealth immigrants] to be regarded as second-class citizens' (p. 10).

The 1965 White Paper also took for granted that the United Kingdom was 'already a multi-racial society' (ibid.). The factual recognition of a multiracial society and the normative vision of Marshallian citizenship universalism point to a tension in the British approach to immigrant integration. Because the Commonwealth immigrants came as formal citizens, with equal civil and political rights, it was within the logic of Marshall's scheme to bestow on them the material conditions that made formal equality a reality, that is, securing them adequate housing, education, employment, and health

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Immigration and the Nation-State: The United States, Germany, and Great Britain
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Immigration and the Nation-State iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • 1: Immigration and the Nation-State 1
  • Part I Embattled Entry 15
  • 2: A Nation of Immigrants Again 23
  • 3: Not a Country of Immigration 62
  • 4: The Zero-Immigration Country 100
  • Part II Multicultural Integration 139
  • 5: 'Race' Attacks the Melting-Pot 147
  • 6: From Postnational Membership to Citizenship 186
  • 7: Between Citizenship and Race 223
  • 8: Conclusion 260
  • Appendix: Interviews 319
  • References 322
  • Index 349
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