Britain's ‘Neo‐American’ Trajectory

Carl-Ulrik Schierup

in Migration, Citizenship, and the European Welfare State

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780198280521
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603730 | DOI:

Series: European Societies

Britain's ‘Neo‐American’ Trajectory

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The ‘Thatcher revolution’ and its continuation by New Labour make Britain a kind of master model for the neo-liberalization or Americanization of European welfare states. This chapter examines Britain’s new political economy and its links with immigration and ethnic diversity. The development of the specific model of state managed race relations and multiculturalism went parallel to the growth of inequality and the restructuring of the labour force according to the criteria of race, gender, human capital, and legal status. Current debates on the alleged threat from disaffected Muslim youth and the need for social cohesion arise from this failure of British multiculturalism to overcome barriers of race and class, and indicate a search for new forms of social control: less state in economic and social issues is matched by a stronger state in matters of identity and order.

Keywords: political economy; race; class; ethnic division of labour; neo-liberalism; Islam; liberal welfare state

Chapter.  11607 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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