Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 63897
Citizenship Redefined? The Wider Exclusionary Dynamics of Migration Policy in the UK

Authors: Clive Sealey

Abstract:

This article will analyse the impact that the increasingly multicultural nature of the UK has had on the nature and direction of social policy. The increasingly multicultural nature of the UK is being driven by a variety of demographic changes, particularly increased net migration from EU10 and the EU 2 enlargement. This has become an increasingly political issue, as exemplified by the specific rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party as a political force with the primary intention of restricting such migration. Perhaps not surprisingly, this has also had a significant impact on the nature and direction of social policies, as evident in the prominence given to efforts to reducing immigration and to restrict welfare benefits paid to such migrants. These policies have largely reflected the retreat away from the emphasis in UK policy on multiculturalism towards assimilation for all migrants, both prior and newly domiciled. Linking these two main policy emphases of reducing immigration and limiting entitlement to benefits is the concept of citizenship. An important point that this article will highlight, is that this changed citizenship does not just relate to new migrants, but also to existing domiciled migrants, such as in relation to specifying the assimilation of ‘Britishness’ and ‘British values’ in their daily life. Additionally, the article also analyses how the changes in welfare entitlements for new migrants is also impacting in an exclusionary way on the living standards of the native population, and therefore also their social rights as citizens. The article discusses the implication that this change presents for social work practice, particularly in terms of both migrants and native population changed citizenship.

Keywords: migration, citizenship, exclusion, social policy, migrant welfare

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