A new book examined how local government officers and politicians negotiated 'difficult subjects' linked with community cohesion policy: diversity, inequality, discrimination, extremism, migration, religion, class, power, and change. It said that such work necessitated 'uncomfortable positions' when managing ethical, professional, and political commitments.
Source: Hannah Jones, Negotiating Cohesion, Inequality and Change: Uncomfortable positions in local government, Policy Press
An article presented a theoretically based, multidimensional, and comparable measurement of social cohesion, applicable in 47 European countries/regions.
Source: Paul Dickes and Marie Valentova, 'Construction, validation and application of the measurement of social cohesion in 47 European countries and regions', Social Indicators Research, Volume 113 Number 3
A think-tank report said that ordinary relationships across religious and cultural difference were the key to a meaningful 'multicultural settlement'. These relationships would be forged by common action, rather than abstract 'national values' or an ideal multiculturalism. Everyday side-by-side activity was often more productive than face-to-face discussion, however well meaning.
Source: David Barclay, Making Multiculturalism Work: Enabling practical action across deep difference, Theos
A new book examined public discourse on race in Europe, focusing on the position of Muslims in the United Kingdom.
Source: Katy Sian, Ian Law, and Salman Sayyid, Racism, Governance, and Public Policy: Beyond human rights, Routledge
An article examined three inter-related ways in which multiculturalism could be understood, before questioning the claim that leading British politicians were distancing themselves from any of them. It highlighted the 'superficial' nature of what was being rejected.
Source: Varun Uberoi and Tariq Modood, 'Has multiculturalism in Britain retreated?', Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, Spring 2013 Issue 53
A new book examined the turn in post-industrial societies towards a fear of cultural, racial or religious externality. A sense of fear in relation to the 'Other' had emerged as a replacement for the social bond, as otherness and danger were increasingly associated with each other.
Source: Michalis Lianos (ed.), Dangerous Others, Insecure Societies: Fear and social division, Ashgate Publications
A report evaluated the delivery and impact of the community cohesion strategy for Wales.
Source: David Robinson, Kesia Reeve, Deborah Platts-Fowler Steve Green, Aimee Walshaw, Elaine Batty, and Nadia Bashir (with Sioned Pearce and Will Eadson), An Evaluation of Getting on Together: The Community Cohesion Strategy for Wales, Welsh Government
A think-tank report examined the state of public opinion on the issue of racial integration, on the 20th anniversary of the murder of the black teenager, Stephen Lawrence. 51 per cent of people polled thought that levels of racism had been higher in 1993 than they were in 2013, and anxiety about living next door to somebody of a different ethnicity had fallen to an all-time low of just 6 per cent. But the report also found that discrimination still existed, and for certain groups was very pronounced: 54 per cent of people polled thought that Muslims experienced a lot of prejudice.
Source: Sunder Katwala, The Integration Consensus 1993-2013: How Britain changed since Stephen Lawrence, British Future
An article examined state-funded faith schools in England, and how opposition to them had been mobilized and negotiated. It focused on the role of community cohesion policy a policy adopted to combat social and ethnic divisions after 2001 and the contested parameters of this policy when introduced to monitor schools. Faith school providers were able to interpret the policy in ways that challenged government articulations and reworked dominant meanings, revealing the political and spatial instabilities of the policy. But these challenges were less successful in shaping mechanisms to monitor admissions practices in faith schools producing some unanticipated entanglements of state and religious authority, with implications for the shaping of communal religious life.
Source: Claire Dwyer and Violetta Parutis, '"Faith in the system?" State-funded faith schools in England and the contested parameters of community cohesion', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Volume 38 Issue 2
A think-tank report examined theoretical approaches to integration, including the differences between integration and cohesion; assessed integration policy, focusing on policy changes and government initiatives since 1990; analyzed the different ways in which integration occurred (through education, employment, income, childhood, housing, and society); and identified some of the essential elements and potential opportunities for a new kind of integration policy, nationally and at the community level.
Source: Jill Rutter, Back to Basics: Towards a successful and cost-effective integration policy, Institute for Public Policy Research
A report summarized the outcome of a symposium in September 2012 that examined understandings of racism in Europe and ways to counter it.
Source: Shannon Pfohman and Liz Fekete (eds), Recycling Hatred: Racism(s) in Europe today, European Network Against Racism
An article examined the salience of race in people's sense of identity. Race appeared to have been undermined by the rise of 'Muslim' identity, the increasing importance of 'mixed race', and the increasing interweaving of race with other attributes such as religion.
Source: Peter Aspinall and Miri Song, 'Is race a "salient " or "dominant identity" in the early 21st century: the evidence of UK survey data on respondents' sense of who they are', Social Science Research, Volume 42 Issue 2
An article said that the emergence of community cohesion as a policy priority had involved 'downplaying' ethnic diversity in favour of commonality, shared values, and the promotion of national identity. The political focus had been on an alleged lack of integration on the part of Muslims: but by contrast little attention was paid to how white working-class young people viewed the contact central to cohesion strategies.
Source: Paul Thomas and Pete Sanderson, 'Crossing the line? White young people and community cohesion', Critical Social Policy, Volume 33 Issue 1