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New Labour, Xenophobia and Immigration

Date: Wednesday 17 March 2010
Time: 17.00-19.00 
Venue:  Wolfson Theatre in the New Academic Building (NABLG01) 
Speaker: Arun Kundnani (Institute of Race Relations), Nira Yuval-Davis (University of East London) and Joseph Harker (The Guardian)
Chair: Malcolm James and Naaz Rashid

During New Labour's tenure in government the issue of immigration has been a key political flashpoint where issues of asylum, EU accession and managed migration have held centre stage. At the same time, following the BNP's electoral successes last year, Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time and the summer marches by the English Defence League, there has arguably been a resurgence of racism and xenophobia in British society.  How are these two phenomena related?  Can the rise of the Right be blamed on the economic downturn alone or do we need to ask questions about the role of New Labour's post-2001 cohesion and immigration policies? 

As a general election draws ever closer, this event is a timely intervention in public debates on immigration. It aims to provide a prominent space for anti-racist and critical voices to engage in a discussion on these themes.

Arun Kundnani - Institute of Race Relations and deputy editor of the journal Race & Class

Nira Yuval-Davis -Director of the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London

Joseph Harker - Assistant Comment Editor of the Guardian