We now have a good understanding of how race, class, religion and gender define lives of immigrants and their impact on British culture, society and economy.
But as Nancy Green pointed out nearly two decades ago, immigration researchers should focus on both outbound and inbound, research that "goes out of politics strongly> ” is especially relevant in UK.
How does study of immigration affect our understanding of history of immigration? How does simultaneous study of immigration change our understanding of chronology and geographical boundaries of contemporary Britain? In this article, these questions are answered through research conducted by Alan Boucher, Marjorie Harper, Bill Schwartz and Jean Smith.
All these scholars show how immigration from Britain to Australia, South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and Aotearoa, New Zealand, has influenced British social policy and ideas about race and nationality, and together they work . demonstrating that migration from Great Britain to Commonwealth countries changed British nation and its borders long before immigration from 1950s and 1960s sparked race, identity and citizenship disputes strong>.
We can think of men and women who came to Britain in post-war decades as emigrating in opposite "directions", a long cycle of emigration, so to speak, leading to transnational emergence of British state and politics identity was centered on so-called racial superiority among British immigrants.
Connecting immigration and immigration history thus combines history of "Global Color Line", "The English World" and history of British immigration, so that , This analysis brings out academic debate about history of immigration beyond "methodological nationalism", which, on one hand, assumes that object in question is nation and, on other hand, strong>is an immigrant from- outside this country.
Obviously it is wrong to apply this concept to history of immigration to UK between 1850 and 1970 because UK does not appear to be a "container" of a country according to a certain historical summary. This wider and more porous conceptualization of British borders, more like a leaky bucket, will also prompt us to rethink history of formation of modern state.
In this issue, scholars tend to focus on welfare, war, bureaucracy and experience within geographic boundaries of Great Britain after 1922, bringing together scholarship on state and immigration. This article focuses on transnational connections. of people, power and politics that make up modern British state.
To explore this argument, a new concept is proposed: "immigrant nation"! What is an immigrant country?
An immigrant nation is a country that turns immigration of its citizens into an imperialist policy that connects core of metropolis with settlement periphery. This notion follows James Holyfield. a call to to educate nation about immigration studies.
However, Holyfield presents a paradox that Western countries have been trying to equate their national forms with transnational (immigrant) ones since 1945. Immigrants” is that modern British state emerged from imperial immigration, and imperial immigration has always been transnational, and transnational immigration did not challenge British state. The main way modern era projects power and defines its citizenship laws.
In this sense, immigrant state's control of intra-imperial immigration created some of main characteristics of modern state, including extension of borderlands and possession of passports and citizenship as definitions of nationality. or race.
Another potential benefit of "immigrant nation" concept is that it provides opportunities for comparative analysis, since subsidized immigration has been a part of public administration since mid-nineteenth century, albeit relatively little understood. The important part, as political scientist Aristide Saulberg puts it: "All of Europe and other countries were engulfed in nineteenth century by what he called 'revolution of escape' from change."
Similarly, Eastern European historian Tara Zahra writes: Realizing that immigration can be used as an instrument of politics, like a steam faucet on a kettle, Serving internal and international goals were one of most important political discoveries of European states of 19th century.
In short, to continue with metaphor of Tara Zahra, "steam" spewing from Great Britain (including Ireland before 1922) is being compared to other European countries. Moreover, it is run by generations. politicians who almost always want to turn up heat and take Zahra's metaphor a step further.
Returning to British historiography, focusing on how immigration changes our understanding of history of immigration?
The volume and scope of state-subsidized immigration has been a recognized influence in development of British nationality law and draws on a long history of immigration control. can help Part of what Kennett Hammond Perry calls "the work of stopping hurricane narrative", focusing on disenfranchisement, injustice and denial more wide areas. which have historically shaped relationship between blacks and British citizenship.
If we consider immigrants from United Kingdom, as well as immigrants from India and Caribbean, as well as immigrants living in world for a relatively long time, we will see that immigration to United Kingdom is a country like < strong>unbalanced immigration system between empires, and ultimately how it provided different statuses and values depending on origin and destination of immigrants, high value and high status for immigrants from Britain across empire to settler colonies, and low for those Judging by transfer of status and low cost from so-called "dependent" empires to colonies of settlers and Britain, "immigrant nation" names legal, political, infrastructural and ideological process of these priorities.
Before developing this argument, it is important to note trade-offs involved in moving to this level of abstraction of analysis over such a long time. Since 1980s sociologists have routinely studied role of racization and state in explaining development of Britain's hostile immigration system.
However, how coherent is this state?
Tensions between metropolitan cores and settler colonies or dominions require more research, Canada, Australia, etc. have their own immigration policies. 1922 with Anglo-Irish Treaty and Irish Republic in 1948
So, how "British" is country of immigration in UK?
Irish immigration has a rich historiography of its own, developed in accordance with social and political history of modern Ireland, it is especially necessary to pay attention to influence of Great Famine of 1845-1852, in addition, Irish immigration has always been only by expansion of British state power, but Ireland itself, in particular, was subject of a long history of colonial expropriation of settlers, and as part of diaspora provided republican regime or Home Rule Material and ideological support.
For all these reasons, immigration policies in some countries can be geographically problematic, less populous, more hegemonic, less resistant, but dynamic.
Despite these challenges, however, studying immigration, citizenship, and state can bring assessment and analytical returns over such a long period of time. Strong>, this reliance on what historians call secondary literature moves question of immigration into realm of historical sociology.
The research method is theoretically consistent with "event sociology William H. Sewell", which refers to analyzing and shaping what Sewell strong> is called In this sense, I am not saying that "immigrant country" is a "thing", but that we should understand this for social and political process, or rather always contested formation arising from competing priorities and adaptations.
This form is called Immigration Nation because its main purpose is to grant citizenship, and because this power is granted by politicians strong>, these politicians tend to subsidize and direct use of public power and public funding to expand powers of state.
Given concept of "immigrant nation", history of modern Britain can be seen in a new light, we no longer see history of transition of liberalism to social democracy and then to neoliberalism, as and we do not transformed from a more global state to a more nation state in 1950s, as James Vernon strongly argued.
British citizenship law created a transnational state in relation to Commonwealth of Settlers from late Victorian era until at least 1970s, a state outside "Country » frame of reference (it was not until 1999 that High Court of Australia held that UK should by law be considered a "foreign" country).
In this sense, Britain is not a nation state that "owns" empire as a kind of modular extension of previous state unit, but rather Britain is dominant part of imperial state. , defined by John Torpey, calls this control of "legal vehicles".
The impact of immigration on British politics and society has been underestimated. During interwar period, immigration was associated with whiteness and "self-rule". The British government in Imperial Settlement Act 1922. The decision to subsidize immigration to colonies, showing in part how "Dominions"" reject Indian claims for so-called transferable imperial citizenship, illustrates racial logic of British immigration state.
For an immigrant nation, not only is immigration from UK subsidized, but it is also implied that other forms of movement must be prevented or reduced, and finally focus is on immigration control in UK in 20th century and aimed at decolonization. and subsidies Immigration Extending and tightening racial mobility measures that persist.
When principle of citizenship by birth was abolished in British law in 1980s, a certain apotheosis was achieved, while many descendants of immigrants to Canada, Australia and New Zealand were granting "Parents" citizenship protects rights.
As a result of these priorities, many British citizens changed their citizenship status in so-called "sandwind scandal", and in this sense, decolonization meant a process that spanned decades, in this process, global color line must enter inner color bar before it can be written into British nationality law,
I think that's why I'm calling UK "the nation of immigrants" here, and that immigrants have had a huge impact on British history.