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Do Policies of Multiculturalism Change National Identities?



‘Policies of multiculturalism are often criticised for undermining national identities in one of three ways and in this article I suggest why this is questionable and then point to a more plausible relationship between the two. More specifically, I offer a hypothesis which is that policies of multiculturalism change national identities and I argue that this hypothesis is both theoretically plausible and empirically plausible in at least one instance. This argument is made in three stages and in the first of them I explain what I think policies of multiculturalism and national identities are. In the second stage I present my hypothesis and explain why it is theoretically plausible. In the third stage I use new evidence to suggest why my hypothesis is also empirically plausible in at least one instance. In the final stage I show why a sceptic who might doubt whether my hypothesis is plausible in other instances need not do so.’