German Historical Institute London:
Bibliography: Research on British History
in the Federal Republic of Germany

KAREN SCHÖNWÄLDER, IMKE STURM-MARTIN (eds), Die britische Gesellschaft zwischen Offenheit und Abgrenzung: Immigration und Integration vom 18. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert, Veröffentlichungen des Arbeitskreises Deutsche England-Forschung, 46 (Berlin: Philo, 2001), 170 pp. €20,50

ISBN 3-8257-0239-1

The United Kingdom is often perceived as a country with a tradition of openness and tolerance towards aliens and newcomers. The nine essays in this volume explore to what extent this image is correct. Ranging from the eighteenth- to the twentieth- century, they provide an introduction to recent research by British and German scholars and an overview for those looking for a German-language discussion of British migration and naturalization policy and of social processes related to immigration.

Margrit Schulte Beerbühl investigates how, in the eighteenth-century, the positive attitude to immigration and naturalization was challenged when poor migrants from the Palatinate (and other regions) arrived. But still, throughout the nineteenth-century, Britain’s response to immigration was exceptionally liberal, and Andreas Fahrmeir provides an explanation for this diversion from the more restrictive course of continental European countries. Around the turn of the centuries, however, as both Panikos Panayi in his chapter on xenophobia and Colin Holmes in his introductory chapter emphasize, the liberal age had come to an end and increasingly hostile popular attitudes to foreigners were accompanied by a more restrictive immigration policy. Moving on to the period after the second world war, Imke Sturm-Martin presents an interpretation of what motivated government policy in the period of decolonization while Karen Schönwälder discusses how, under the Wilson government of the 1960s, the exclusion of the Kenyan Asians could go hand-in-hand with Roy Jenkins’ proclamation of multiculturalism. Apart from the more policy-focussed chapters, there are contributions by Donald MacRaild on the persistence of Irish ethnicity and by Stuart Hall who challenges success stories of British multiculturalism.

Imke Sturm-Martin, Karen Schönwälder

Back to: Bibliography Issue 6
Back to Homepage