British Muslim Political Participation: After Bradford

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Abstract

In this article I argue that there is a significant generational shift within British Pakistani communities in relation to political participation and civic engagement. Using George Galloway's March 2012 by-election victory in Bradford West and an analysis of primary empirical research conducted amongst British Pakistani communities between 2005–2007, and, 2011, I argue that kinship-based bloc voting—a feature of British Pakistani political engagement in UK politics—is being challenged. A younger generation of British Pakistanis want politicians to engage with them as individuals rather than politicians assuming their votes through co-opting Pakistani community elders in a system of patronage politics, an arrangement which has been in place since mass immigration from the subcontinent in the 1950s and 60s.

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