Friday, 20 March 2015

Need for National Integration

About National Integration
National integration is the feeling that binds the citizens of a country. Its aim is to put individual's best efforts for the optimum growth, prosperity and welfare of the country as a whole.
It does away with inter-state, inter-linguistic, inter-religious and inter-cultural differences. It promotes a spirit of tolerance and respect for the view-point of other cultural groups. To Kanungo, "Every country at every time needs national integration but India needs it the
India's passing through a critical period these days. The integrity of India is in danger. Therefore Indians will have to act carefully. In India national integration is needed due to following reasons:
Fruitful type of cross-national work, particularly those located at sub-national levels
such as the city (i.e., Ireland, 1994; Bousetta, 2000).

However, away from these predominantly North American led comparative efforts, more explicitly policy-oriented studies with a comparative range have tended to follow the least sophisticated academic approaches. This has certainly been the case with work produced through the sponsorship of European institutions.

For example, the big winner from an intense bidding struggle among academics in this field for money from the Targeted Social and Economic Research (TSER) programme on ‘exclusion’ was a national models-based study – led by well-known national figures Friedrich Heckmann and Dominique Schnapper – that explicitly structured its investigations around the idea that immigration and ethnic relations in each country are determined by classic policy ‘models’ rooted in political cultural differences between France, Germany, Britain and so on (Heckmann and Schnapper, 2003). A models-based approach of this kind will often itself reproduce the ideological fictions each nation has of its own and others’ immigration politics.

Schnapper and associates duly found that minorities and majorities do indeed talk about the issues in each country in ways that follow the distinct national ideologies. But little or no self-reflexive effort was made to ask how these nation-sustaining ideas about distinct national ‘models’ have themselves been created and sustained by politicians, the media and the policy academics themselves in each country, precisely in order to foreclose the possibility that external international or transnational influences might begin to affect domestic minority issues and policy considerations.

Practical institutional imperatives also dictate that the policy study packages and presents its findings in a narrowly targeted way, which naturally curtails many of the more interesting lines of enquiry. This has been well-understood by one of the more influential NGOs in this field in Brussels – the Migration Policy Group – who have been involved in two of the most wide ranging funded surveys on integration policies across European society (Vermeulen, 1997; MPG, 1996). In the latter, the ‘societal integration project’, they set up roundtables in around twenty countries, and listened to the expert opinions of policy makers and policy intellectuals, generating a mass of material about how policy makers talk about the same issues in different places. However, in the end the slim report of highlights and recommendations boiled all this down to a reaffirmation that convergence was the source of future norms on citizenship and integration across Europe. Being limited to the typical state-centric talk and self-justification of policy makers, it was unable to offer any genuine comparative evaluation. Moreover, the freedom of reflection of such a project is naturally cut down by the expectations of the sponsors who lay down the lines of research. By definition, such comparative policy studies produce findings which reinforce the state-centred, top-down formulations familiar at national level.

A concise and stimulating analysis of the theory of nationalism, and the theories, process and problems of national integration. Although nationalism is the most successful political ideology in human history, its achievement in getting the world's entire land surface divided between nation-states has led to considerable problems in integrating the ethnic and cultural minorities within these states. Nationalist theories are still controversial, while the process and frequent failures of national integration are issues of central importance in the contemporary world. Birch's argument is illustrated by detailed and topical case studies of national integration in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia: the United Kingdom, with the Welsh, the Scots, the Irish and the coloured minorities; Canada, with its Anglo-French tensions, its cultural pluralism and its indigenous peoples claiming the right of self-government; Australia, with its increasing ethnic diversity and its failure to integrate the Aborigines.

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