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"The Paradox of Migration: Reconciling Economic Competition and 'Common Values' in Britain"

Wallace Goodman, Sarah. (2007) "The Paradox of Migration: Reconciling Economic Competition and 'Common Values' in Britain". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction] This paper looks at Great Britain as an important case for explaining the inherent paradox of migration policy in Western Europe. Where immigration is an opportunity to jump-start latent industrial or struggling service economies, it is also a dominant political challenge in maintaining national identity and cohesion. This is particularly the case for Britain, where national identity is an inchoate, regularly re-defined concept (see Cesarani 1997; Hampshire 2006). Britain has seen positive economic growth and production in opening up their labor market to over half a million A-8 Accession workers, mainly from Poland and Lithuania. And under the banner of “controlled migration,” the Labor government has introduced a five-tiered, point-based entry system to bring highly skilled and need-based non-European migrants to Britain. However, where there is a desire to meet economic needs through migration, immigration has never been more of a contested, salient political issue. The promotion of citizenship requirements emphasizing integration (in English language and UK knowledge assessment) for non-EEA migrants, is an important innovation for defining British national identity, articulating for the first time a set of ‘common values’ to underscore the British national community. Britain’s migration calculus, maximizing the economic and social benefits of immigration against the efforts to isolate potential costs of immigration through the first, real definition of “Britishness” exemplifies the inherent paradox of migration for Western European states where more formed or consolidation visions of nation-state pre-dated large-scale migration. Following a review of context in which migration and citizenship laws were changed, discussing Britain’s strategic use of European Enlargement as being able to maintain selective admission alongside economic openness, the second part looks at British policy in detail by examining the most recent development of immigration and citizenship policy, beginning with the 2002 White Paper “Secure Borders, Safe Haven,” and manifesting in the 2005 Five-year strategy, “Controlling Our Borders.” Finally, I conclude with preliminary comparisons between Britain and other Western European countries, who are only now coming to terms with the realization that they are ‘countries of immigration,’ taking on all the benefits and responsibilities that come with it.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > immigration policy
    Countries > U.K.
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > European citizenship
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2008
    Page Range: p. 35
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:50

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