Scarman Report, The

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The Scarman report was commissioned by the UK government to inquire into the Brixton riots in April 1981. It identified “complex political, social and economic factors” that created a “disposition towards violent protest,” but did not explicitly condemn police racism and denied that “institutional racism” even existed. The report also identified failures in police community liaison, confidence and trust in the police, police training, and in the representation of ethnic minorities in the police force. The report was symbolically “accepted” by the home secretary, William Whitelaw, but it was largely ignored by the Thatcher government, which failed to adjust government policies to systematically address racial disadvantage as Scarman had proposed.

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The project is centred on the idea that post-devolution Scotland is developing its own political and policy trajectory in the context of the nation-building project. Taking into consideration the multi-level system of governance created by the devolution process, the political discourse over immigration and integration has evolved and created an opportunity for the political elite in Scotland to shape their own integration model according to a civic form of Scottish identity. This consensus can also be related to the demographic specificity of Scotland making of immigrants an important asset to the country.Through a mixed-method approach relying mainly on the discourse analysis of political discourse this research project attempts to cater the multi-level dimension of party politics in Scotland, and in particular how the narrative advanced by the political elite on immigration and integration especially has resulted in diverging policy orientations that further reinforce the cleavage between Scottish and British parties. The multicultural orientation of Scotland’s integration strategies is reinforced thanks to the promotion of civic form of national identity that is inclusive of minorities, as well as the celebration of Scotland’s diverse heritage.
Research surrounding the relationship between race and crime has found that, in general, minorities compared with whites are overrepresented as offenders compared with their representation in the general US population. Two potential reasons for this racial disparity are the differential offending and selection bias explanations. The current entry provides an overview of the empirical and theoretical relationship between race and crime, with a focus on the overrepresentation of minorities throughout both the adult and juvenile justice systems.
This paper is concerned with tracking the shifts in media discourses surrounding issues of race and social policy interventions through an examination of the newspaper media responses to the Brixton Inquiry and Scarman Report in 1982 and the Lawrence Inquiry and Macpherson Report that appeared eighteen years later in 1999. Brought about by two very different sets of historical events, albeit events which shared certain common features, this paper argues that the Scarman and Macpherson Reports have framed the changing story of 'race relations' in Britain in the last quarter of the twentieth century. While there have, inevitably, been comparisons between the content of the two Reports there has not been a comparative focus on the media reception of the findings and recommendations of the Inquiries. Using written and visual media text from five newspapers the paper seeks to map the extent to which media narratives around both race and race related policy-making have shifted during the course of almost two decades. The paper questions the boundaries of any such changes and examines what remains unchanged.
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