Political Philosophy and National Integration

Topics: Political philosophy, Government, Nation Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: April 6, 2012
Lecture: Cultural Pluralism and Antidiscrimination in WE and USA Lecturer: Antonin Bernard Thompson Mikes
Student: Anastasia Kovalchuk
Date: March 6, 2012
AQCI: Birch, Anthony (1989) Nationalism and National Integration, London: Unwin Hyman Ltd, chapter 4: National integration, pp. 36-51

1. Central Quotation
“National integration is partly a by-product of other social and economic developments, partly the result of deliberate government policies.” (Birch, 36) 2. Argument
In this text Birch gives a historical overview of national integration process. He discusses different attitudes towards assimilation of minorities that existed in North America and Europe. Before 1960s that it was current believe that national integration could be challenged by the existence of different ethnic groups within the borders of the country and assimilation was desirable. After 1960 however, this attitudes has changed in favour of social pluralism. Birch also presents patterns, which describes common practices of national integration. 3. Question

The question raised in this text is “Whether the process of national integration must be accompanied by wholly or partial assimilation of minorities?” Birch describes both negative and positive effects, which social, economic and political integration of minor ethnic and cultural groups could have on building a sense of nationhood. His argumentation is based on contradictory assertions. One argument is in favour of social homogeneity i.e. stresses the importance of common language and feeling of unity among people for development of democratic institutions. In the same time author mention several scientific works that question the assumption that further integration is required for establishment of representative democracy. 4. Experiential Connection

Even thou I grew up in Sweden, I have a lot of friends with different ethnic origin who lives there, mostly 1st or 2nd generation immigrants. All of them had a chance, upon...
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