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Race Politics in Britain and France


  • 6 tables
  • Page extent: 246 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.474 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 305.8/00941/09045
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: DA125.A1 B595 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Great Britain--Race relations--History--20th century
    • Great Britain--Race relations--Government policy
    • France--Race relations--History--20th century
    • Blacks--Great Britain--History--20th century
    • Blacks--Great Britain--Politics and government

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521811019 | ISBN-10: 0521811015)

Britain and France have developed substantially different policies to manage racial tensions since the 1960s, in spite of having similar numbers of post-war ethnic minority immigrants. This book provides the first detailed historical exploration of race policy development in these two countries. In this path-breaking work, Bleich argues against common wisdom that attributes policy outcomes to the role of powerful interest groups or to the constraints of existing institutions, instead emphasizing the importance of frames as widely-held ideas that propelled policymaking in different directions. British policymakers' framing of race and racism principally in North American terms of color discrimination encouraged them to import many policies from across the Atlantic. For decades after WWII, by contrast, French policy leaders framed racism in terms influenced largely by their Vichy past, which encouraged policies designed primarily to counter hate speech while avoiding the recognition of race found across the English Channel.

• Detailed history of British and French policies for managing race and ethnicity • Contrasts the British use of race-conscious policies with the French color-blind approach • Emphasis on the role of ideas in explaining political and policy outcomes


1. Introduction; 2. Perspectives on comparative public policymaking: the place of frames; 3. The birth of British race institutions: 1945 to the 1965 race relations act; 4. Round two: 1965 to the 1968 race relations Act; 5. From 1968 to the 1976 race relations act and beyond; 6. The origins of French anti-racism institutions: 1945 to the 1972 law; 7. The struggle continued: anti-racism from 1972 to the 1990 Gayssot law and beyond; 8. Race frames and race policymaking in Britain and France; 9. Race, racism and integration in Europe: recent developments, options and trade-offs.


'… this book should be read not only by those interested n race politics or the politics of both France and Britain, but also by everyone interested in the general role of ideas in politics.' E-extreme

'A comprehensive attempt to tackle the historical evolution of race policies in two countries with much the same problem … The book supports both systems as potential models for the EU as a whole.' The Times

'… an insightful account … Bleich provides an interesting comparative survey of race policies in France and Britain and tests his hypothesis successfully with facts and attention-grabbing anecdotes.' Cercles

'… a well-written empirical analysis that usefully emphasises the power of beliefs and ideas in policy-making …' Political Studies Review

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