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The Search for Community Cohesion: Key Themes and Dominant Concepts of the Public Policy Agenda

The Search for Community Cohesion: Key Themes and Dominant Concepts of the Public Policy Agenda The community cohesion policy agenda in England emerged from the melee of explanation and advice that abounded in the aftermath of the street disturbances in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham in the summer of 2001. Various reports were published examining issues arising from the disturbances and providing recommendations for action. In 2002, the government responded with the launch of guidance on community cohesion for local authorities and established the Community Cohesion Unit, which was set the twin tasks of reviewing government policy and encouraging new learning and good practice in community cohesion at the local level. Housing was recognised as a key theme within this agenda, having been blamed in the various reports into the disturbances in 2001 for contributing towards high levels of residential segregation in many English towns, which were assumed to lead to different populations living, working and socialising separately. This paper explores this causal story, by first considering the particular conceptualisations of community and multiculturalism informing this new policy agenda, before moving on to question the integrity of four fundamental pillars on which the community cohesion agenda has been built: the assumed self-segregation of South Asian households within certain towns and cities; the role that housing policy and provision have played in reinforcing this process of self-segregation; the potential of housing interventions to reverse this process and to promote residential integration; and the curative benefits that will flow from greater interethnic residential mix. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban Studies SAGE

The Search for Community Cohesion: Key Themes and Dominant Concepts of the Public Policy Agenda

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References (55)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0042-0980
eISSN
1360-063X
DOI
10.1080/00420980500150755
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The community cohesion policy agenda in England emerged from the melee of explanation and advice that abounded in the aftermath of the street disturbances in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham in the summer of 2001. Various reports were published examining issues arising from the disturbances and providing recommendations for action. In 2002, the government responded with the launch of guidance on community cohesion for local authorities and established the Community Cohesion Unit, which was set the twin tasks of reviewing government policy and encouraging new learning and good practice in community cohesion at the local level. Housing was recognised as a key theme within this agenda, having been blamed in the various reports into the disturbances in 2001 for contributing towards high levels of residential segregation in many English towns, which were assumed to lead to different populations living, working and socialising separately. This paper explores this causal story, by first considering the particular conceptualisations of community and multiculturalism informing this new policy agenda, before moving on to question the integrity of four fundamental pillars on which the community cohesion agenda has been built: the assumed self-segregation of South Asian households within certain towns and cities; the role that housing policy and provision have played in reinforcing this process of self-segregation; the potential of housing interventions to reverse this process and to promote residential integration; and the curative benefits that will flow from greater interethnic residential mix.

Journal

Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban StudiesSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2005

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