The search for community cohesion: key themes and dominant concepts of the public policy agenda

ROBINSON, D. (2005). The search for community cohesion: key themes and dominant concepts of the public policy agenda. Urban studies, 42 (8), 1411-1427.

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The community cohesion policy agenda in England emerged from the mêlée 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.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1411-1427
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 19 May 2009
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 01:01

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