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Multiculturalism and the Welfare StateRecognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies$
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Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289172.001.0001

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Is multiculturalism eroding support for welfare provision? The British case

Is multiculturalism eroding support for welfare provision? The British case

(p.152) 5 Is multiculturalism eroding support for welfare provision? The British case
Multiculturalism and the Welfare State

Geoffrey Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the argument that there exists a ‘trade-off between the extension of multiculturalist policies and public commitment to a universalistic welfare state’. It considers the case of Britain, focusing on the nature of public attitudes towards ethnic diversity, MCPs and the welfare state in that country, and their implications for party politics. It is shown that there has been no backlash against ethnic diversity and MCPs in Britain. Public attitudes towards minorities have become more tolerant over time, and public opposition to MCPs has softened. Although there has been some weakening in public support for redistribution, this trend has much more to do with changing economic conditions than with immigration or MCPs. Finally, although there is some evidence that immigration may sometimes crowd out redistributive concerns in determining people's voting behaviour, there is no evidence that MCPs for already settled minorities have had this effect.

Keywords:   Britain, multiculturalism policies, trade-off, public attitudes, diversity, welfare state, social policy

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