Global Migration, Ethnicity and Britishness (Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series)


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Hidden categories: Articles with short description Articles to be merged from June All articles to be merged All articles with self-published sources Articles with self-published sources from December Commons category link is on Wikidata. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The chapter draws on empirical evidence and analysis of academic discussion to consider such claims.

Chapter 9 provides the conclusion, where a summary of the preceding empirical evidence and discussions leads the book to suggest that, contrary to the overwhelming bulk of academic analysis, community cohesion, as it has been shown to be understood and practised, has the potential to offer positive and holistic ways forward around diversity and equality. Not only was community cohesion a new term with little previous social policy pedigree Robinson, but it has heralded a marked change in language, emphasis and stated policy priorities, and the nature and meaning of those changes remains highly controversial Flint and Robinson, ; Wetherell et al.

This chapter explores this new policy of community cohesion by analysing the urban disturbances that provoked this significant policy shift, the process of national Cantle, ; Denham, and local Clarke, ; Ouseley, ; Ritchie, governmental Inquiries and reflection that led to the emergence of community cohesion, and the key themes and concerns that can be detected within community cohesion. The justification for, and the logic of, each of those themes and concerns is discussed in this chapter, and this significant shift in British policy is then contextualised by discussing the parallel experiences of two other Western European states, France and the Netherlands.

Given how highly contested each of these themes and the overall thesis of community cohesion is in the UK, Chapter 3 then summarises and discusses key criticisms of community cohesion and its key concerns. Petrol bombs and policy change The violent disturbances that occurred in a number of towns and cities in the north of England during the summer of was the most serious outbreak of rioting in Britain since the inner-city disturbances of and , with those earlier events seen as linked to large-scale youth unemployment and heavy-handed policing of multi-racial innercity areas Solomos, In so doing, this section also raises the question of the relationship between the disturbances and subsequent policy approaches.

This section first provides a brief factual overview of the disturbances, and then discusses how we might understand these events and their subsequent impact through discussion of a number of key issues. All of these disturbances involved Asian young men of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin clashing with the police, as well as with white men in the case of Oldham and Burnley.

All three areas saw pubs, businesses and other buildings burned out, and police in full riot equipment attacked with a variety of weapons that included petrol bombs and cars Bagguley and Hussain, In Oldham, an initial racial confrontation escalated to street disturbances that saw as many as white and Asian people clash violently before a slow police response led to prolonged violence between large numbers of Asian young people and the police Kalra and Rhodes, Burnley similarly saw direct violence between white and Asian groups, involving an escalating series of titfor-tat racist incidents including an assault on an Asian taxi driver, a large-scale racist incursion into Asian areas and retaliatory attacks on white pubs that saw one pub burned down King and Waddington, In contrast, the Bradford riot, whilst linked to fears around racist incursions as discussed below, involved a straight confrontation between Asian young men and the police, a prolonged bout of antiauthority violence that was much more reminiscent of the inner-city disturbances of the early s Solomos, The aftermath of these events has been difficult both for the towns and cities themselves, with national perceptions negatively altered, and for the communities involved, with draconian prison sentences impacting especially on the local Asian communities Burnett, ; Kalra and Rhodes, As highlighted in the Introduction, the actual triggers and events in Oldham, Burnley The Emergence of Community Cohesion 17 and Bradford were not discussed in any real detail by the subsequent government-commissioned Community Cohesion Report Team CCRT process Cantle, , or by the governmental response Denham, Similarly, the local Oldham review Ritchie, did not focus significantly on the actual events, concentrating instead on what are seen as long-term problems of ethnic segregation, racial tension and economic marginalisation.

The most significant and revealing focus on the actual triggers and conduct of the violence came in the Burnley local report Clarke, , which does devote more attention to the events, and amplifies it by including evidence submissions, including one by Lancashire Police that stresses the role of criminality and disputes over drug-dealing and territory within the disturbances.

This lack of an official scrutiny of the actual events is in stark contrast to the forensic examination of the triggers and events of the riot in Brixton, south London Scarman, , that is widely understood as having prompted the subsequent and widespread rioting across British inner cities. This analytical gap has only partially been filled by academic commentators, with only one full-length study of the Bradford riot Bagguley and Hussain, , and that thoughtful contribution limited by its lack of empirical evidence from actual rioters or direct witnesses Waddington, Actual eye witness evidence from Bradford, including that of police officers, is drawn on elsewhere Bujra and Pearce, , whilst analysis of the Oldham and Burnley disturbances Kalra and Rhodes, ; King and Waddington, has attempted to make sense of the eye witness and journalistic accounts available.

These are all drawn on here, alongside community-based research sources Sutcliffe, , and the perceptions of youth work-based informants in Oldham of the triggers and events there. Common factors? A number of important themes can be detected in this analysis of the disturbances and their meaning. The first is the actual location of these disturbances. A common factor uniting Oldham, Burnley and Bradford is their past and present economic profile Kalra and Rhodes, All three areas had been dominated by the textile and 18 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion associated engineering industries, with recruitment of extra staff to the textile industries being the direct reason for the substantial Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities resident in each area Modood et al.

Comparatively few of the latter well-paid jobs have yet to develop in post-industrial towns and cities like Oldham, Burnley and Bradford. As is the case nationally Modood et al. Bagguley and Hussain, 41 The resulting social exclusion Byrne, in each area is significant, and, despite growing economic polarisation within each separate ethnic community, takes spatial forms that harden any existing patterns of ethnic segregation through severely constrained employment and housing options. The suggestion here Cantle, was that ethnic diversity had been managed better in those areas.

Government has acknowledged the unevenness of ethnic diversity and of the settlement patterns of new migrants DCLG, a , but the great unevenness of economic The Emergence of Community Cohesion 19 prosperity and of social exclusion also needs to be acknowledged here when considering the causes of, and attempts to prevent, racial tension.

Closely allied to this understanding of modern economic dynamics in each of the riot areas is a reality of significant ethnic segregation. Whilst the implicit community cohesion suggestion that this ethnic segregation is getting worse is highly contested Carling, ; Finney and Simpson, ; Ouseley, , it is beyond dispute that Oldham, Burnley and Bradford, and other ex-industrial areas of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, are amongst the most ethnically segregated local authority areas of England.

Here, housing areas are significantly segregated by ethnicity, and schools even more so Burgess et al. Originally created by racist practices in housing markets Kundnani, , this significant segregation has arguably been maintained by poverty, the lack of suitable alternative housing Phillips et al.

It is clear that this local segregation and associated ethnic tensions had been growing for years, if not decades, without any effective action, suggesting a clear failure of local political leadership Ouseley, ; Ritchie, One issue highlighted has been that in the period leading up to the disturbances, the Race Equality Councils RECs , local agencies charged with addressing racial discrimination and promoting good race relations at the local level, and which had their roots in the Race Relations Act Solomos, , had collapsed in each of the towns subsequently experiencing riots.

To some commentators Bagguley and Hussain, this might a be a causal factor, but it can arguably be seen as symptomatic of the problematic ethnic relations in the area and of the corrosive long-term impacts of policies of ethnicism that focused on the needs of each separate ethnic community Malik, Here, these RECs experienced the withdrawal of local authority funding and support because of the fundamental lack of agreement and cooperation between different ethnic minority community groups, a lack of united common purpose around race equality initiatives that could be seen as a product of past policies Sivanandan, and which made their demise inevitable.

Arguably, this analysis allows a direct comparison between the riots and those of that saw serious disorder on almost entirely white socially excluded British social housing estates on the edge of cities like Cardiff, Oxford and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and which has been understood as a violent, gendered response to generational economic marginalisation in ex-industrial areas Campbell, They are far-right agitation and the role of local media in fanning this; clumsy and ineffective policing that had the effect of increasing tension and violence; allegations of criminality within the specific trigger incidents; and the accelerant role of new technologies within the disturbances and the bitterness of their aftermath.

The Emergence of Community Cohesion 21 Far-right agitation Local agitation and inflammation by far-right groups like the British National Party BNP and the National Front can be seen as central to the disturbances, despite little focus on them in the community cohesion national reports Bagguley and Hussain, , a failure that echoes official analysis of early s disturbances Solomos, This was particularly evident in Oldham, with several marches or rallies, often largely made up of racist activists from other parts of the country, in the months leading up to the riots, with the last held on the day the riots started.

One of the key incidents seen as increasing tension in Oldham some weeks before the riots was an incursion by football fans into Westwood, a mainly Bangladeshi area, before and after a game between Oldham Athletic and Stoke City, with far-right activists seen as influential on this fan behaviour. The reactionary role of local media can be seen as important here, with local newspapers in both Oldham and Burnley persisting in publishing incendiary and often racist letters, some of them anonymous and emanating from the BNP, in the months leading up to the riots.

This, and their irresponsible coverage of issues around claims of racial attacks, made the press culpable in the eyes of the local inquiries Ritchie, Similarly, the Bradford riot can be linked directly to racist political activity, with a far-right rally scheduled for Bradford on Saturday, 7 July, leading to a ban by the Home Secretary, an associated ban on a 22 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion previously scheduled city centre multicultural music festival aimed at families of all ethnic backgrounds, and the holding of an anti-racist rally instead in the centre in case any far-right activists gathered.

The context here can be seen as being a historical one of large-scale fascist rallies in Bradford in the late s and substantial, violent responses by anti-racists, and a recent one of fascist agitation locally that included BNP leader Nick Griffin speaking at a rally held in a white suburb of Bradford the night before the riot Copsey, This electoral upswing only subsequently started to decline with the national and local elections, and the election of a right-of-centre national coalition government.

The role of technology The far-right agitation outlined above, in the context of long-term ethnic segregation and associated tensions, helped to create a highly racialised and tense atmosphere in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford, and in other similar towns and cities, prior to the riots. Second was the role of mobile phone technology in mobilising large numbers of people rapidly on the basis of a rumour or claimed threat.

Similarly, the spreading of false information rapidly by communitybased pirate radio and mobile technology were both crucial to the escalation of the Birmingham disturbances King, Above all, modern technologies also played a crucial role in the large number of arrests made and convictions achieved in the wake of the riots in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford Bagguley and Hussain, The clarity of such evidence partially explains the severity of the sentences received by many, especially those involved in the Bradford disturbances, and despite the fact that many had handed themselves in to the police following family pressure Burnett, The length of these sentences following events arguably provoked by far-right agitation and police mishandling has left bad feeling in some parts of the Asian communities affected Burnett, , a feeling exacerbated in Oldham by the lower sentences given to the white men regarded as responsible for the trigger incident as a slow police response prevented the sort of detailed technology-based information gathering that subsequently convicted many of the Asian young men who had reacted Bagguley and Hussain, Police mishandling?

Clumsy and questionable policing is also an identifiable issue in relation to both the longer-term causes and the immediate triggers of the disturbances. An identifiable longer-term policing issue is the role of Greater Manchester Police GMP around racial incidents and attacks within Oldham. At the time I think he had a political agenda of trying to undermine some of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry recommendations.

Local youth worker Habib commented that: The Police made mistakes, major ones and minor ones, in the sense that the way they policed was poor. The strategy of trying to hem Bankside in from blowing up actually caused more of a hassle than they needed. Accusation of police mishandling of public order situations was also made in Burnley, where Lancashire Police were seen to be very The Emergence of Community Cohesion 25 slow to control large groups of white men from gathering and moving towards Asian areas, a failure compounded by allegations of brutality in their treatment of Asian men later in the events King and Waddington, This latter tactical approach might directly be traced to criticisms made of the police for not defending the city centre against damage following earlier rioting by Asian young people in Bradford in , a decision that arguably prolonged the rioting and greatly increased its intensity Bujra and Pearce, The consistent police response in to such allegations of mismanagement was that violent and unjustifiable criminality lay at the root of such disturbances, giving the police little room for manoeuvre.

This suggestion of criminality as a key cause for the riots was summarily dismissed by central government Denham, 9 , just as far-right agitation and police mishandling of ethnic relations were marginalised. Certainly, the suggestion that outside agitators were responsible for the riots seems misplaced. Similarly, the vast majority of those arrested and charged for the events in Bradford were resident in Bradford, or the neighbouring town of Keighley Bagguley and Hussain, Summing up the riots The necessarily short summary presented above of the riots in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford has attempted to summarise the evidence available and to pinpoint key issues.

In doing so, it has tried to emphasise the local specificities and histories that have arguably been downplayed in the subsequent policy discourse Kalra and Rhodes, Whilst racial conflict between different communities was central to events in Oldham and Burnley, conflict between Asian young men and the police was central to all the outbreaks for a number of reasons, as shown by the under-reported events in Leeds The Emergence of Community Cohesion 27 that focused on heavy-handed policing Farrar, Police mismanagement of multicultural communities and their inevitable tensions was clearly a causal issue, as was persistent and cynical far-right agitation that was not effectively countered at the local level.

Underpinning all this was the geographical reality of economic marginalisation and social exclusion in all areas, with each area having spatial hotspots where relative poverty combined with ethnically segregated communities to provide a reality of persistent, low-level tension and violence, both between different ethnic groups and with the police, so making the riots less of an aberration for such areas than they first appeared Kalra and Rhodes, Here, rather than the riots being simply about criminality, or being a rejection of British identity and values, these violent disturbances were arguably more about frustration at that very British citizenship being denied to many Pakistaniand Bangladeshi-origin young men, through economic marginalisation, housing deprivation, and policing that seemed more interested in controlling them than dealing with racist violence Amin, ; Kalra, Nevertheless, direct conflict between different, often spatially separated, ethnic communities was a key factor, a reality re-emphasised by the events in the Lozells area of Birmingham in , where several days of violence between African-Caribbean and Asian communities involved murders and serious inter-communal violence King, Those events seemed to confirm some of the key issues present in the riots.

The governmental response: community cohesion Predictably, following the disturbances discussed above, local inquiries produced reports focusing on specific circumstances in Oldham Ritchie, and in Burnley Clarke, , with a report on ethnic segregation and tension in Bradford produced before but published shortly after the Bradford riots Ouseley, The outbreaks of violent disorder in Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent did not result in any local inquiry process, and barely warranted a mention in subsequent national government publications.

Less expected was a central government Inquiry and its two resulting reports Cantle, ; Denham, which looked more broadly at the state of national ethnic relations, offering a new national policy priority, community cohesion. Following the disturbances, the Community Cohesion Review Team, under the chairmanship of Ted Cantle, a former Chief Executive 28 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion of Nottingham City Council, was asked by the Home Office to produce an analysis of the causal factors and recommendations for future governmental action.

This remit was addressed through a series of visits to the areas experiencing disturbances, and to other multicultural areas, holding evidence-gathering sessions at each location Cantle, In so doing, this inquiry process and the resulting long-term policy shift thus made only a very limited acknowledgement of the local specificities and causal processes discussed above.

The independent CFMEB process, under the chairmanship of distinguished academic expert on multiculturalism, Lord Bikhu Parekh, included a number of key national academic and political commentators on ethnic diversity. This suggests that the disturbances provided the moment for those calls for a re-balancing of race relations policies towards cohesion and forms of national unity and identity to be actioned more decisively by government: Our central recommendation is the need to make community cohesion a central aim of government, and to ensure that the design and delivery of all government policies reflects this.

This presaged considerable policy focus on, and budget allocations around, social inequalities and marginalisation, and led to significant reconfiguration of education and welfare services in order to address these issues Mizen, The CCRT Inquiry process led by Ted Cantle introduced and defined the new term of community cohesion, a development accepted by central government: Community cohesion requires that there is a shared sense of belonging based on common goals and core social values, respect for difference ethnic, cultural and religious and acceptance of the reciprocal rights and obligations of community members working together for the common good.

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The solution proposed by both national and local community cohesion reports was cross-ethnic contact and dialogue, something that urgently needed to be prioritised, in their view: The Emergence of Community Cohesion 31 The promotion of cross cultural contact between different communities at all levels, foster understanding and respect, and break down barriers.

Cantle, 11 The concern here is clearly that such contact should help to promote shared identities and common norms and values, a conception of shared citizenship that is sensitive to difference, but which must override any separate loyalties: Respect for cultural diversity must be balanced by acceptance that in key respects people must come together much more than has happened recently in Oldham, if necessary laying aside some of their cultural preferences.

The response of COIC focused very much on local realities and strategies, a reflection of the great spatial variations in recent immigration. Alongside this COIC refined the working definition of community cohesion used by government, linking it with integration to reflect their focus on the issue of significant immigration and the urgent need to integrate new arrivals.

This integration focus on new migrants can clearly be seen as distinct from the focus of the community cohesion reports, which were concerned with relations between settled ethnic minority and white communities. Nevertheless, the approach of COIC was consistent with the key themes of community cohesion set out here. DCLG, a: 10 The Emergence of Community Cohesion 33 Below, this chapter outlines the key themes and concerns evident from the community cohesion reports and the way they were articulated by government ministers. The extent to which these physical divisions were compounded by so many other aspects of our daily lives was very evident.

These lives often do not seem to touch at any point, let alone overlap and promote any meaningful interchanges. The implication here is that parts of British towns and cities were starting to resemble the rigid sectarian divides of Northern Ireland, and it is no coincidence that post efforts to build community cohesion in Britain have drawn on organisations such as Mediation Northern Ireland and the experience they have of trying to break down rigid barriers between Loyalist and Nationalist communities in Northern Ireland.

The clear implication within the community cohesion discourse is that physical ethnic segregation has deepened and hardened the lack of common identity, and the tension and mutual fear that results from that lack of commonality, suggesting that this segregation was causal to the growing pre-riot tensions outlined above. This analysis would see the phenomenon of Islamist extremism Hussain, , or increased support for overtly racist political parties with neo-Nazi roots Copsey, , as an inevitable by-product of such a generalised situation of separate monocultural communities and identities.

Also implicit within the national and local community cohesion reports was the feeling that this physical and cultural ethnic segregation was actually getting worse in some areas, a highly contested suggestion that Chapter 3 examines in greater detail. Whilst acknowledging the continuing reality The Emergence of Community Cohesion 35 of racism locally and nationally, the CRE focused on the heavy geographical concentration of Asian communities in the areas witnessing disturbances, with the clear suggestion that this is a problem in itself.

The solution clearly proposed by community cohesion is to break segregation down through direct contact and dialogue, with calls for action towards more integrated schooling and housing, new schemes of contact, such as school-twinning, and the development of genuinely multi-ethnic community organisations and facilities, rather than separate ethnic-specific ones Cantle, ; Ritchie, Arguably, these concerns are consistent with the broader direction of New Labour social policy after Levitas, ; McGhee, , and which is unlikely to disappear under the new government.

Whilst individual and institutionalised racism, such as the reality of racial harassment Modood et al. This position is that an unintended consequence of the post-war welfare regimes in the USA and the UK has been a loss of the necessary balance between rights and responsibilities: Communities constantly need to be pulled toward the centre course where individual rights and social responsibilities are properly balanced.

This position clearly assumes that individuals can and should influence structural realities, such as ethnic segregation, a suggestion questioned by many commentators.

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Similarly, central government community cohesion initiatives Home Office, a; LGA, , discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, have focused on capacity building around mediation, conflict resolution and community contact, in order to equip communities to help themselves McGhee, This analysis was central to post New The Emergence of Community Cohesion 37 Labour social policy approaches, with a clear concern around welfare dependency and sole reliance on government to create social change.

Giddens argues that individuals must learn to confront risks and to anticipate that their own lives will be less secure, seeing such a cultural transformation as necessary: We have to make our lives in a more active way than was true of previous generations, and we need more actively to accept responsibilities for the consequences of what we do and the lifestyle habits we adopt.

Bourdieu discussed how the habitus of actors may enable reflexive behaviour, or agency, but that they may lack the right type of capital, or any capital at all, to make any impact. This helps to explain the concern with segregation and the need to overcome it within the community cohesion discourse Cantle, From this perspective, there is an urgent need to develop avenues for meaningful bridging social capital which will enable dialogue and relationships across ethnic divides, so facilitating the development of shared values and priorities. In the case of the areas experiencing disturbances in , the dominant textile industries the reason why Asian communities were recruited to these locations and the trade unions associated with those industries partially provided forms of bridging social capital in the past Kundnani, There is also a clear belief within community cohesion Cantle, , that past policy approaches have unintentionally bolstered bonding social capital, especially in ethnic minority communities, whilst neglecting the need to develop bridging forms of social capital that would enable the promotion of good relations between ethnic groups.

In particular, these policies have deepened and solidified the divides between different ethnic communities. As a result, within this community cohesion analysis of segregation and the importance of agency lies a critique of the impact and unintended consequences of past race relations policy approaches, particularly those prioritised since the last watershed moment of Solomos, Alongside this came an enhanced focus on equality for each separate ethnic group, and the importance of ethnic data with which to measure progress towards that equality.

Such data, and assumptions based on it, continues to be central to social policy questions, as shown by controversy over the role of ethnicity in educational underachievement Gilborn, This saw the gradual development of pluralist political structures of consultation that accepted ethnic difference, and which attempted to accommodate diversity around religion, custom and dress within the public domain of schools, welfare services and the workplace. It was particularly recognised in the establishment of the CRE in , alongside the passing of the Race Relations Act.

Here, community cohesion can be seen as a necessary and overdue correction to the successes and associated problems of past policy approaches, with a focus on commonality, rather than on difference Cantle, , This explains the overt attacks on multiculturalism per se from equality campaigners Phillips, as prolonging and even fuelling ethnic segregation and tension that have opened the door for a blaming of multiculturalism for a wider range of policy problems, including a growing domestic terrorism threat Prins and Salisbury, Firstly, however, this new British policy development of community cohesion, its concerns and assumptions, is contextualised by discussion in Chapter 2 of recent developments around identity and multiculturalism in two other multi-ethnic Western European states, France and the Netherlands.

International Comparisons Introduction Chapter 1 outlined the violent disturbances in northern England during the summer of , and the significant change in the tone, priorities and focus of British race relations policies as a result. It went on to outline the key themes and concerns of this new British policy of community cohesion, all of which are highly contested and controversial, as Chapter 3 examines.

Before engaging in detailed discussion of those critiques, it is helpful to step back and reflect on how this policy shift might be understood in relation to the approaches and debates in other Western European countries that are also grappling with the challenges of rapidly evolving multicultural and multifaith societies. Accordingly, this chapter examines the position in two contrasting, close neighbours of Britain, the Netherlands and France.

These countries have been chosen both because of the distinct ways in which their respective policy approaches to ethnic diversity and identity have traditionally been understood, and because issues of multiculturalism and national values and loyalties have been prominent in their recent political discourses. The aim here is a modest one; not to offer new data on these countries but rather, in considering their differing policy approaches and conflicts, to shed further light on how we might understand the post British policy approach of community cohesion and examine the extent to which this policy shift is, or is not, out of line with trends in other European states.

International Comparisons 43 The Netherlands: retreat of the multiculturalist standard bearer? This multiculturalism programme was sanctioned and directed from the highest levels of the Dutch national government, an overt and wellfunded commitment that can be seen in contrast to British approaches to multiculturalism that have tended to be more de-centred and locally varied Joppke, , often emerging as much from below as above through dialectical processes of debate and conflict Solomos, Dutch policy approaches have included state-subsidised minority community TV and radio stations, state-funded Islamic primary schools sometimes operating in minority languages, relaxed approaches to dual citizenship and guaranteed processes of state consultation with minority community leaders.

The commitment to multiculturalism represented by such policies has now apparently waned, with significant policy shifts towards requiring greater conformity and Dutch language use by ethnic minority citizens, and recent election results producing large gains for explicitly anti-Islamic and anti-immigration political parties Guardian, 12 June This shift has been accompanied by a number of shocking and high-profile incidents that have kept the interrelated issues of multiculturalism, identity and Islam at the forefront of Dutch politics.

Sniderman and Hagendoorn, 2 Multiculturalism, Dutch-style Although comprehensive by the standards of other European states, Dutch multiculturalism did not start to develop until the late s, in response to significant immigration from countries like Turkey and Morocco that had no previous ties to the Netherlands.

Previously, foreign migrants had come from Dutch colonies such as Surinam, the Dutch Antilles and Indonesia, and so were familiar with Dutch language and cultural norms, but a shortage of unskilled labour in the early s led to the Turkish and Moroccan immigration. Whilst the latter initially involved only men, the gradual arrival of wives and families, continued marriage links with countries of origin, and an increase in Asylum seekers and refugees from a variety of countries have all combined to increase and further vary the ethnic diversity of the Netherlands.

These non-white migrants came to a country with apparently well-established approaches to dealing with cultural and religious divisions. Until the s, the Netherlands was a conservative country with sharp social distinctions based on religion, and only limited cross-denominational marriage and friendship ties Bagley, between different Christian traditions. Pillarisation involved each Christian tradition, as well as secular liberals and socialists, having their own school and university systems, distinct newspapers and trade unions, and national Going with the Flow?

International Comparisons 45 politics conducted via elite-level deals and compromises to maintain agreed balances.

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Such multiculturalist policies involved the early granting of local voting rights for migrants who were not yet citizens and, at one point, toleration of dual citizenship once they were Dutch citizens. Sniderman and Hagendoorn suggest that such an accommodating policy approach to ethnic difference can partly be explained by collective historical guilt in the Netherlands over their perceived failure to do more to prevent the Holocaust, given that a high portion of Dutch Jews were transported and murdered compared to other Western European countries occupied by Nazi Germany.

In light of these policy responses to non-white migration, many commentators have characterised Dutch multiculturalism of the s, 46 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion s and s as a continuation and extension of pillarisation, crediting that approach for what appeared to be peaceful co-existence between different ethnic groups, but this historical interpretation is increasingly challenged Joppke, ; Vink, This suggests that from the start Dutch multiculturalism was more limited and partial than is sometimes portrayed, with the new migrant communities not having the power or autonomy to develop a genuine and equal pillar.

It also raises the issue of the extent to which muticulturalist approaches were actually dominant and publicly supported in the Netherlands. The failure of Dutch multiculturalism? Joppke suggests that the Netherlands was moving away from full support for multiculturalism and towards an emphasis on civic integration from the early s onwards, long before the political agitation and subsequent murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, for a number of reasons.

These reasons centre on the failure of multiculturalism to command enough white Dutch support in the face of increasing ethnic diversity, associated popular perceptions of growing cultural and physical segregation, and the feeling that multiculturalist policies were not addressing the real economic and social causes of ethnic minority Going with the Flow?

International Comparisons 47 marginalisation and segregation. All of these themes continue to be central to Dutch political discourse, as shown by recent political events Beaumont, , and also have direct parallels in post policy shifts and debates in Britain. In fact, the seeds of this reaction against multiculturalist policy approaches could be detected even as apparent Dutch success in integrating new migrants was being celebrated. Comparable survey data on white indigenous attitudes in Britain and the Netherlands to non-white migrants in the late s and early s found anti-black racist prejudices to be significantly higher in Britain.

In comparison, Dutch attitudes were much more tolerant and appeared to give much greater optimism for a successful multiculturalist future, but were based on the clear and non-negotiable assumption that migrants would fully integrate into Dutch society through use of Dutch language and acceptance of Dutch customs, traditions and values. The historical Dutch approach to empire of fostering Dutch language and traditions within colonies meant that migrants from Surinam, the Dutch Antilles and Indonesia were comparatively well equipped to meet this integration challenge despite the racial prejudice they have consistently received from a minority of Dutch citizens.

The position in relation to integration into Dutch society of migrants from Turkey and Morocco, the largest groups of non-white immigrants, with many of them coming from poor and rural backgrounds where very different values and traditions are held, has proved much more problematic. Integration of these migrants from outside Dutch traditions has been hampered from early on by economic restrictions. The Dutch economy may have seen subsequent upturns but, like other Western European countries such as Britain, it has progressively moved towards a post-industrial economic model whereby demand for unskilled labour has permanently declined.

As in Britain, certain Dutch migrant 48 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion groups, such as Turks and Moroccans, have arrived with low human capital and limited Dutch language skills, and so have struggled to integrate and achieve equality on the economic level, hampered further by racial discrimination. This economic, and so social, marginalisation of Turkish and Moroccan communities, despite official policies of multiculturalism, was becoming obvious by the s, and was highlighted by a liberal academic and commentator, Paul Scheffer.

The way forward for Scheffer was to reverse policies of multiculturalism that treated all migrants as part of undifferentiated, essentialised ethnic communities, rather than as individuals needing help, or even coercion, to achieve economic and social integration into Dutch society. As early as , the right-of-centre VVD Liberal party challenged continuing immigration, much of it driven by continued Turkish and Moroccan marriage links with their countries of origin. VVD leader Frits Bolkestein suggested that such continued immigration of nonDutch-speaking family members and the accompanying multiculturalist policies were facilitating the growth of separate, Islamic values within Dutch society and so hampering integration.

Buruma identifies this as an early indicator of an ideological switch becoming increasingly prevalent across Western Europe, whereby right-of-centre parties that formerly argued for culturally specific values and traditions now argue for the importance of the universal, individual rights of the Enlightenment, whereas left-of-centre parties that formerly championed that universal humanism now defend the right of specific cultures and traditions to remain distinct within society.


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Whilst such critiques of Dutch multiculturalism were publicly rejected by the political establishment, they clearly prompted policy re-thinks in the Netherlands. International Comparisons 49 citizenship held by migrants, and significantly limited benefit availability for new migrants Vink, Legal penalties for not taking part in these lessons exist, but were initially only used sparingly Joppke, This Dutch development on civic integration of migrants has subsequently been replicated across Western Europe and Scandinavia, including post Britain Cantle, As in Britain, such a Dutch policy re-think might be portrayed as a reactionary step, but it can also be seen as acknowledgment that previous and rather passive policies of multiculturalism did little to aid effective integration of non-white minorities.

It is important therefore to not only discuss these events themselves but analyse the popular feelings and attitudes underpinning them. At the heart of these developments has been the perception first identified in the s, as outlined above, that separate identities and lifestyles had been allowed to grow amongst migrant-origin communities in the Netherlands, and that Islamic identities amongst Turkish and Moroccan communities in particular now pose a direct challenge to the values and social cohesion of broader Dutch society.

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Within this is an inherent critique of the negative effects of overt multiculturalist policies, and evidence of a limited Dutch popular tolerance for overt difference. Fortuyn was an openly gay academic who rose to political prominence outside of the traditional political party structures through overt, populist attacks on what he perceived as the Islamic threat to Dutch values 50 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion and lifestyles, and on multiculturalist policies he viewed as undermining Dutch identity through toleration of separate identities.

Backed by sections of big business and the media, his flamboyant and outrageous persona and political style helped him to mount an assault on what he portrayed as a corrupt political establishment, so rapidly building a political base from scratch. Despite those early criticisms, Sniderman and Hagendoorn identify elite conformity over multiculturalist policies leading to no conventional space for popular dissent Going with the Flow? International Comparisons 51 around diversity and its perceived effects at a time of significant state budget cuts, with Fortuyn filling that vacuum.

Arguably this political vacuum was about much more than Muslim identity, with the waning of pillarisation and religious influence, the decline of Dutch distinctness through processes of globalisation and European union, and a suffocating political consensus all combining to create significant popular disenchantment, both with conventional politicians and the direction of political travel. Underpinning this rise of Fortuyn, and earlier critiques of multiculturalist policies were significant Dutch popular attitudes around diversity and integration.

Here, the authors draw on field research from respondents in Hengelo, a city in the east of the Netherlands to suggest that that there are significant divergences within Dutch society over multiculturalism, and that these have not altered significantly in response to the events highlighted above. Their key finding is a major difference of approach between migrants and native Dutch communities towards integration, with migrants found to: prefer cultural maintenance in their private lives and integration in their public lives, while the majority group in The Netherlands prefers an adjustment to the larger society in both domains.

Schalk-Soekar et al.

These research findings support not only the notion of value conflicts between white and Muslim Dutch citizens, but also significant differences of attitude within white Dutch society. These values conflicts, the authors suggest, have been unhelpfully exacerbated by multiculturalist policies that have stressed differences between distinct identities, so having the unintended effects of making everyone less secure in their own identity and undermining support for the notion of societal diversity per se Sniderman and Hagendoorn, Again, a direct parallel can be found here with the post community cohesion critique of past multiculturalist policy approaches in Britain and their unhelpful focus on ethnic difference Cantle, , Here, a substantial majority of white Dutch feel that Muslims restrict women within their communities, whilst a substantial majority of Dutch Muslims believe that Western women have too many freedoms.

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The data suggests that the de facto ruling out within Dutch politics of critical discussion of such multicultural problems has made the majority of white Dutch citizens hostile to further immigration. Such white Dutch attitudes might simply be understood as representing the societal racism that is a residual effect of colonialism in all major Western European countries, especially as a substantial minority of white respondents from a variety of social and political backgrounds expressed negative and stereotyped views about all non-white migrants, including the Christian, Dutch-speaking migrants from Surinam.

Going with the Flow? This leads Sniderman and Hagendoorn to suggest that the nature of and official backing for Dutch multiculturalist policies is directly responsible for this negative reaction. Here, in stressing difference to avoid racial clashes at the onset of non-white immigration, multiculturalist policies have gradually provoked racial clashes through counterproductively allowing, and even stressing, those ethnic differences.

A significant number of Dutch people, even those generally tolerant, perceive their cultural identity to be under threat from the values and lifestyles of Muslim migrants, a perception arguably encouraged by the content and manner of multiculturalist policies. This suggests that by stressing difference and the right to be different, and by supporting visible symbols of that difference that have included the more reactionary elements of Islamic culture, such policies provoke exclusionary, negative reactions from large sections of the white majority.

Such a longer-term analysis of the problematic impact of Dutch multiculturalist policies would suggest that the political furore around political murders and the rise of anti-Islam politicians in the first decade 54 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion of this century are actually symbolic of long-term popular unease, as much as causal to it. Van Gogh, a controversial and iconoclastic film-maker, columnist and TV presenter, was at the heart of public soul-searching about multiculturalism in both life and death.

Ali had been subjected to female circumcision as a child, escaped from a forced marriage, and once in the Netherlands became an outspoken critic of Islamic culture and its treatment of women. It was broadcast only once and, like the later Danish cartoon controversy, became controversial for what it symbolised rather than in response to actual viewings. Bouyeri was highly educated and a fluent Dutch speaker, but his own social marginalisation and inadequacies had taken him down a road towards Islamic websites and Jihadist networks Buruma, After living with round-the-clock police protection, Ali is now largely based in the USA.

Whilst Van Gogh had often made provocative comments about Muslims, this was consistent with his approach to other groups in society, and his abuse of friends and colleagues, with his professional track record showed him to be no racist. Rather, he was part of Dutch literary tradition that saw open abuse as a legitimate part of expression and did not expect a violent Going with the Flow? International Comparisons 55 response. His programme includes a total stop to Muslim immigration, a ban on Mosque building and a tax on hijabs, the Muslim headscarf.

Almere has a large ethnic minority population, and Wilders has successfully exploited racialised fears around street crime, even though it is a fairly typical Dutch city Beaumont, Whilst the recent progress of Wilders and the PVV suggests Dutch society is rapidly lurching to the right in an anti-Muslim backlash, such an impression would be misleading. Such a tradition might be seen as a partial product of the pillarisation tradition, and certainly saw the rise and subsequent disappearance of the extreme-right Centrum Party in the s. A direct parallel can be found here with the frank examination of continued marriage and family holiday links between Asian-origin British communities and the Indian sub-continent in the post riots community cohesion reports Cantle, ; Ritchie, Such a focus might be portrayed as reactionary, both in Britain and the Netherlands, but it can also be seen as the honest posing of difficult choices which need to be made if greater progress towards social and economic integration and equality is to be achieved for migrant-origin communities.

Whilst Dutch policies of multiculturalism were never universally accepted, there was a large consensus in support of them amongst the Dutch political elite that has now been disrupted. Former Amsterdam Mayor and now Labour Party leader, Job Cohen, has suggested that Islamic identity has the potential to be a progressive force for progress and integration, a perspective explored further in Chapter 6 in relation to Britain, but this seems to be counter-intuitive to the current reality in the Netherlands.

Instead, it seems that there are significant similarities between the Netherlands and post Britain, whereby policies of multiculturalism seem to now be counterproductive in that they have unhelpfully stressed difference and allowed the growth of separate identities. International Comparisons 57 social class inequality in society has been politically sidelined. Joppke suggests that encouraging more a limited and privatised tolerance of diversity is a positive and pragmatic solution for states such as Britain and the Netherlands currently experiencing the problematic consequences of stressing difference through more overt policies of multiculturalism.

In fact, Joppke even poses the question of where actually the evidence is of the supposed failure of colour-blind citizenship, but such evidence is arguably found in France, as the next section explores. France: right all along? It is clear that both Britain and the Netherlands have significantly re-thought their previously favoured multiculturalist policies of considerable recognition of, and autonomy for, distinct ethnic groups and their separate identities, and have moved to place greater stress on commonality and shared national identity and values, concrete policies of integration that have included citizenship and language tests for all new migrants.

In emphasising shared national identity, and the rights and responsibilities of all citizens to contribute and adhere to that identity, integration rather than diversity, these previous champions of multiculturalism might be seen as moving much closer to the historic position of France. The French model is popularly understood as one of colour-blind citizenship, whereby all French citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or faith, are seen as equal, a position informed by the principles of the French Revolution, liberty, equality and fraternity. This seemingly historical 58 Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion position can therefore be seen as explaining recent developments in French politics, with moves to ban the wearing of the Muslim niqab face covering or burqa full-length covering garment Silvestri, building on the previous ban on the wearing of religious symbols in French state schools Bertossi, The logical consistency of this policy implementation and the parallel policy difficulties of Britain and the Netherlands might suggest that France has got its policy position right, that this position has been consistent, and that the approach to ethnicity within French society is therefore successful and stable.

In fact, it is argued here that nothing could be further from the truth. It then goes on to explore a number of ways in which the French approach, or rather the lack of an effective one, to that diversity can be seen to be crisis over the last few years, as illustrated by the very significant French urban riots Waddington et al.

This approach included a strict separation of church and state, something Going with the Flow? International Comparisons 59 formalised after the Dreyfus affair, when a Jewish army officer was falsely accused of treason. Such a differentiated reality of approach can also be seen within France itself in the post-war period. In common with other Western European states facing unskilled labour shortages during the post-war boom, France experienced considerable immigration from the s to s.

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