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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10112/16808

Title: [Research Note] A Preliminary Study to Reconsider 'Britishness' in 21st-Century Britain : in Search for a Theoretical Framework
Authors: Karatani, Rieko
Author's alias: 柄谷, 利恵子
Keywords: 関西大学
Kansai University
Issue Date: Mar-2019
Publisher: Faculty of Law, Kansai University
出版者の別表記: 関西大学法学部
Shimei: Kansai University Review of Law and Politics
Volume: 40
Start page: 77
End page: 87
Abstract: This study attempts to present a theoretical framework for the research project whose purpose is to clarify the dynamic interplay between immigration/nationality and external policies in post - imperial and pre-Brexit Britain. On the basis of the theoretical framework, the author later aims to write a full research paper. Although the fields examined here - immigration / nationality and external policies - seem unrelated, they are in reality strongly entwined, shaping and reshaping each other in response to policy changes. The two questions addressed in this paper are as follows. Why do the heated debates on 'Britishness' and government actions to base immigration / nationality legislation on it continue ? Given that the meaning of the 'Britishness' of the time was shaped, how did it accrue through the process of ongoing manoeuvring (in this paper, this process is termed the political project of belonging) each time ? The precise meaning of 'Britishness' is difficult to discern, and even if it can be defined, a more difficult task may be creating a single definition everyone agrees on. Debates on the meaning of 'Britishness' and the political project of linking immigration / nationality legislation with it continue among the government, academia, and the media, who are competing for a tangible impact within the project. The research project itself will focus on the years 1981 and 2002, which marked watershed moments for British policy regarding immigration and nationality. The British Nationality Act (BNA 1981) established 'British citizenship' into the statute book, thus representing the thorough overhaul of British immigration / citizenship policies needed since the Second World War. Nearly twenty years later in 2002, two pieces of legislation, namely the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (NIAA 2002) and British Overseas Territories Act (BOTA 2002) again brought about substantial changes to the immigration / nationality legislation. NIAA 2002 claimed to introduce new meaning and value to the acquisition of British citizenship by introducing a citizenship test and citizenship pledge, while BOTA 2002 expanded the geographic scope of British citizenship by renaming the existing dependent territories 'overseas territories' and providing British citizenship, in theory, to all citizens thereof. Despite successive immigration / nationality policy reforms to reframe their system around the concept of 'Britishness', government efforts failed, and as a result, amendments of immigration / nationality legislation followed. Now that Britain will be leaving the European Union (EU) at the end of March 2019, another round of searching for 'Britishness' and the political project of belonging that claims to link its results to nationality legislation will begin.
type: Departmental Bulletin Paper
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10112/16808
ISSN: 0388886X
NCID: AA00265951
Text Version: publisher
Appears in Collections:Kansai University Review of Law and Politics-No.40

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