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Immigrant Nations: Achieving consensus on the politics of multiculturalism

  • Date(s)
    7 July 2011
  • Time
    17.30 -19.00
  • Location
    House of Lords, Committee Room 4A
Immigrant Nations: Achieving consensus on the politics of multiculturalism
Debate and book launch

Policy Network, in partnership with Progress, will hold a debate on immigration and the politics of multiculturalism. It will take place in the UK House of Lords on Thursday 7 July.

Paul Scheffer, professor of Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam and author of Immigrant Nations

Gregg McClymont MP
, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East
Mehdi Hasan, senior editor (politics), The NewStatesman
Michael Keith, director, Centre of Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford and former Labour leader of Tower Hamlets council
David Goodhart, editor-at-large, Prospect Magazine
Marc Stears, lecturer in political theory, University of Oxford

Sarah Spencer, deputy director, Centre of Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford

The debate will be opened by Paul Scheffer, professor of Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and author of recently published Immigrant Nations. Focusing on problems such as mutual obligation, reciprocity, and shared citizenship in a globalised world, this new text explores the way in which post-war immigration has challenged the form of European societies. In its focus on issues at the centre of liberal democracy such as free speech, and institutions such as the welfare state, Immigrant Nations has received critical acclaim and stimulated vociferous debate across Europe.

Building on Policy Network and Wiardi Beckman Stifting's Amsterdam Process work into the impact of popular concerns over migration, identity and culture on European social democracy, the debate is grounded in the need to forge a new synthesis between the different standpoints on immigration which exist within the centre-left’s constituencies and its parties political and policymaking circles.


'An important, ambitious book...As the revolt against mass immigration and multiculturalism shows no signs of weakening in Europe, it is timely to have a rational and liberal defence of the new scepticism that ranges with such confidence across so many countries - and is a damn good read too.' more»
Financial Times

'With Immigrant Nations, Scheffer offers an extension of his earlier arguments and an answer to his critics...essential reading for anyone with an interest in the issue.' more»
Times Higher Education

'Immigrant Nations is arguably the best study in many years of the effects that mass immigration has had on the countries and cities of western Europe and north America.' more»
European Voice

‘Paul Scheffer has written the most acute, sensitive and nuanced account there is of Europe's new immigrants. This book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand today's Europe.'
Timothy Garton Ash, St Antony's College, Oxford

‘Paul Scheffer handles a combustible subject with uncommon restraint. His tone is sharp yet compassionate; his scope is broad yet detailed; he is an insider yet unobtrusive. In a subtle way he reveals the layers of painful contradictions that plague a people who for decades cultivated a self-image of tolerance and freedom, only to be cast into self-doubt as that image is tested by the arrival and settlement of Muslim immigrants.'
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, American Enterprise Institute

‘Immigrant Nations is a vital contribution to the current discussions in Europe on the problems of immigration. Scheffer's voice is urgent, timely and penetrating. This book should be read by all Europeans, and indeed by all people, who are interested in one of the most pressing issues of our time: how to integrate non-Western immigrants, especially immigrants with Muslim backgrounds, into Western societies.'
Ian Buruma, Bard College

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