Émeutes vs intégration
Riots v. Integration
Riots, because they introduce a rupture to societal order, are perceived as exterior to the culture and national traditions; the fact that those who participate in them are often of immigrant origin sparks debate about the cultural, ethnic, or racial criteria of integration.
Great Britain, long confronted with episodes of urban tension, has since the 1980's developed a thought culture focused on multiculturalism, the fight against racial discrimination and against the political under-representation of minorities. In the following decade, these approaches lead to ambitious policies against racial discrimination in the police force.
The ideas of citizenship, of common values, and the notion of community cohesion of Tony Blair's "New Labour" eclipsed these priorities after the wave of riots in 2001. But multiculturalism continues to inspire a number of policies north of the English Channel and to animate a vibrant debate.
An illuminating essay, in a European context where multiculturalism tends to fade the shadow of a "neo-assimilationism," notably in France where ethnic statistics and the under-representation of minorities remain subjects for fierce debate.