The Making of Multiculturalism: Post-War Immigration in Britain and France, and the Global Dynamics of Decolonization

16.05.2017, Vortrag, DHI London

DHI London, Vortragsreihe Migration, Citizenship and Welfare in British History 

Andrew Thompson (Exeter)

Decolonization set in train a series of large-scale population flows, equivalent or greater in scale to those witnessed today. Among the new mobilities that marked the end of empire was the reverse flow of subjects from nearly and newly independent colonies to the cities of Europe. Highly charged political debates about restrictive immigration legislation, the welfare of migrants, and social inclusion and cohesion rapidly followed. This lecture will explore the experience of post-war Britain, with particular reference to the politically fraught and at times explosive issue of housing, and will draw explicit comparisons with the parallel experiences of France. It will show how many of the debates surrounding immigration today were anticipated, if not prefigured, from the 1950s to the 1970s, when an explicit discourse of race relations first emerged. Andrew Thompson is Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter and Chief Executive of the AHRC. In his research, he explores the effects of empire on British private and public life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, transnational migrations, and migrant remittances. His books include Imperial Britain: The Empire in British Politics, c.1880–1932 (2000), and Empire and Globalisation? Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850–1914 (2010).