the politics of multiculturalism

About the book

This book, first published in 2009, is an account of the racial politics of the British state under New Labour.

The Politics of Multiculturalism takes as its starting point the premiss that anti-racism and cultural pluralism are dominant in twenty-first-century race politics. Mainstream politicians of both left and right are keener than ever to reject and disavow racism.

It is accordingly by espousing a multicultural politics that governmental and state actors now engage with race. This has opened up new opportunities, facilitated practices that were hitherto off limits, and provided a considerable challenge for anti-racists who find they are now met not with opposition but agreement.

The Politics of Multiculturalism explores the nationalist politics of multicultural Britishness. It considers how the 'white working class' are produced as an 'ethnic minority' in the local politics of community cohesion. It weighs up the influence of the War on Terror on domestic race politics, from the development of 'state feminism' to way Islamic transnationalism reveals the limits of the multicultural nation.

Second edition

A second edition of The Politics of Multiculturalism is freely available in PDF format under a Creative Commons licence. You can download a copy here.

About the cover

I'm often asked about the cover image of this book. It's a close-up of the escalator at Stockwell underground station in London, down which Jean Charles de Menezes was pursued and then shot by the Metropolitan Police on 22 June 2005. It is, of course, also an ironic reference to the unimaginative abstract default of cheapskate academic publishing.