Rethinking migration for a good society

Document type
Tonkiss, Katherine
Date of publication
1 September 2015
Thinkpiece; 84
Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

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Increasingly restrictive immigration policies have emerged in the UK in recent years, apparently in response to a growing tide of anti-immigrant public opinion. Such dominant anti-immigration narratives and related policy responses are, however, out of step with global forces which are transforming membership in contemporary societies. In an age of globalised labour markets and international diaspora, migration is an increasingly normal part of life.

This Thinkpiece considers how we can conceive of a fair and more just migration policy which is more in tune with a world in which ‘people just move’ than with anti-immigration sentiment and xenophobia, specifically by considering what a Good Society, central to the work of Compass, means for immigration control. The paper sets out some of the key principles which could inform an immigration policy in the fair and equal society that a Good Society concept represents, and considers the implications of this approach for issues of social justice, solidarity and community resilience. The core argument put forward is that, if a Good Society means tackling inequality across a range of factors which affect life chances, then a Good Society should mean embracing a more open and liberal approach to immigration.

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