An article examined the views of leading policy-makers on multiculturalism, national identity, social cohesion, and future policy directions. It said there was widespread disquiet at the assumed segregative effects of existing policies. However, when specific issues (sharia law, faith schooling, dress codes including veiling, dietary practices, political representation) were considered, most interviewees expressed a concern to accommodate differences in cultural and traditional standpoints through dialogue. Multiculturalism was not 'dead,' as some had argued: instead it was developing in a more pragmatic direction that emphasized the importance of interaction and accommodation rather than top-down interventions.
Source: Peter Taylor-Gooby and Edmund Waite, 'Toward a more pragmatic multiculturalism? How the UK policy community sees the future of ethnic diversity policies', Governance, Volume 27 Issue 2
A new book examined continuity and change in debates and policies relating to ethnic diversity since 2001, focusing on the prevention of terrorism and citizenship, forced marriage, and the resentment of the 'white working class'. It said that, although the rhetoric of multiculturalism had been toned down by successive governments, debates and policies had continued to reflect a specific sensitivity to ethnic diversity.
Source: Romain Garbaye and Pauline Schnapper (eds), The Politics of Ethnic Diversity in the British Isles, Palgrave Macmillan
An article examined the criticisms advanced against multiculturalism. It considered whether ethno-religious groups led 'parallel lives' and, in consequence, failed to integrate with the wider society. It looked in particular at the alleged corrosive effects of multiculturalism, specifically at the maintenance of an ethnic rather than a British identity, social distance from white people, and willingness to contemplate violent protest. No evidence was found that rates of inter-generational change had been slower among ethno-religious groups that had made successful claims for cultural recognition. In contrast, lower levels of integration were associated with perceptions of individual or group discrimination.
Source: Anthony Heath and Neli Demireva, 'Has multiculturalism failed in Britain?', Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 37 Number 1