London: diversity and renewal over two millennia

Anthony Heath, Yaojun Li

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Ever since its foundation by the Romans in the first century AD, London has been distinct from other cities within the UK politically, commercially, and socio-culturally, reaching its apogee in the mid-nineteenth century but recreating itself anew in the late twentieth century. Migration has played a major role in this story ever since its foundation, both with internal migration from other parts of the British Isles and with international migration especially from other parts of the Roman and subsequently British empires. In the post-war period, this migration helped revive the inner city and contributed to the emergence of a cosmopolitan political culture. However, this cosmopolitan culture coexists alongside continuing racism and inequality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and racial studies
Early online date23 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023


  • London
  • inequality
  • migration
  • positive selection
  • racism
  • white flight


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