Radhika Natarajan

Fall 2010

My dissertation charts the evolution of multi-culturalism as a response to the immigration of former colonial subjects to Britain after World War II. I argue that the introduction of a welfare state during the dissolution of the empire produced an anxiety over community that was displaced into concern for the integration of Commonwealth migrants into local social services. With a government invested in providing basic social services for all citizens, access to those services became the site for debates concerning political citizenship, social belonging, and the status of Britain in a post-colonial world. Through investigating the everyday negotiations of welfare between the State, Commonwealth migrants, and those who would aid their integration into local communities, I argue for the centrality of migration to understanding the promises, limits, complexities and contradictions of social welfare in post-war Britain.