Introduction: Contemporary political contexts, changing terrains and revisited discourses

Lewis, Gail and Neal, Sarah (2005). Introduction: Contemporary political contexts, changing terrains and revisited discourses. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(3) pp. 423–444.



The introduction to this ERS Special Issue sets out the broad frame through which the six articles can be coherently viewed. It does so by suggesting that, more recently, different governments' attempts to manage the tensions surrounding asylum, labour needs and multicultural citizenship have increasingly involved a 'redrawing' or 'refixing' of immigration and multicultural political and policy approaches. This 'redrawing' process places a traditional stress on policing national borders and excavates older discourses of assimilationism through an emphasis on cultural integration, social cohesion and a notion of a core national identity. This process is apparent in wider European and Australian contexts and can be particularly seen in the current British government's legislative interventions on asylum and migrant labour. The introduction sets out the specificity of the British context and outlines how each of the subsequent articles speaks to the labile political and policy landscapes of migration and belonging.

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