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					Community Cohesion:
Challenge and Change
Ted Cantle CBE

Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo)
Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA)
Some key trends …..

• In most developed countries
• And at an international level

…and some common emerging responses

• Generally under ICD banner
• Or, Community Cohesion Framework
The world is on the move…..
• In 1965 75m people lived outside the home
  country, now 200m
• 600,000 Brits live in Spain, many more from
  other countries; and other parts of the world
  (eg,200,000 NZ); Or, with second homes
• Travel: 25m tourists to UK, 70m from UK –
  total tourist visits?
• Globalisation in many forms: international
  students, business, finance.
With impacts on our neighbourhoods…..
• Broader diversity: Over 300 languages
  in London schools; 150 + in other cities
• Rural areas becoming more diverse too
• Changing population composition: eg,
  schools becoming more polarised
• New migration & population ‘churn’
Creating new identities
• From settled communities in 50s and
  60s – to an era ‘super diversity’
• Hybrid identities
• Sequential and fluid identities
• Inter-generational differences
Creating new identities
• Growth of diaspora identities which
  compete with national identity – faith
  emerging in to public sphere
• Transnational ‘virtual’ communities too
• Pace of change – limited shared
  experiences; debate about shared
Super diversity: managing the interface
• Between and within BME communities
• No longer a black v white issue
• Between generations
• Conflict resolution and intervention
• Extremism issue – and understanding
  diversity within communities
Community cohesion framework
emerged after 2001…..
• Polarised & segregated communities
• ‘Parallel lives’, underpinned by inequalities
• Ignorance, fear & demonisation
• Leadership ambivalent & shared values
• Initiatives reinforced difference & separation
Community cohesion developed to:

•   Promote a common sense of belonging
•   Positively value diversity
•   Tackle disadvantage and inequalities
•   Promote interaction in the workplace, schools
    and neighbourhoods
And community cohesion now includes….
• ‘Integration’: greater focus on what we have
  in common, (but not assimilation)
• ‘Rights and responsibilities’ and ‘trust in local
• Now applied to faith, age, sexual orientation,
  travellers, social class, special needs – how
  any ‘difference’ is seen
Has multiculturalism failed?
• We have many multi-cultural countries, under
  different models
• All were a pragmatic response to racism /
  discrimination – acceptance of pluralism with
  some real success (though more to do on
• But multicultural models were focussed on
  difference, rather than on commonalities
But the politics are changing…
• Migration centre of gravity shifted
• Emphasis on integrational measures –
  eg ‘earned citizenship’; English
  language, school duty
• New focus on white w/c
• The far right – growth across Europe
First response: new engagement
• Political representation of new communities –
  electoral and at community level (block deals
  more difficult too)
• Can umbrella bodies really represent diversity
  between and within communities?
• And do we know who our communities are?
• Meanwhile white w/c disenfranchised
Second response – understand local issues
• What does it mean to Manchester, Maidstone
  – or Madrid?
• Keeping a ‘finger on the pulse’ - local issues,
  tensions and priorities, across all differences
• Continuing to tackle unequal life chances,
  poverty & disaffection
• And trying to create a sense of belonging….
Understanding our communities
• The ‘fear of difference’
• Not dismissing racism & identity ‘loss’
• Far right groups play on these fears, and
  focus on insular communities with limited
  conceptions of ‘others’
• (Which – ICD programmes can break down)
Understanding social capital
• Institutional & social networks which enable
  communities to function effectively
• Is it affected by population churn & diversity –
  as people ‘hunker down’? (Putnam)
• How do we build ‘bridging’ social capital?
• And get people involved in their local
  community – and ‘looking out for each other’?
Third response – facilitating change
• Planning mixed spaces and communities, not
  just housing, also -
• Employment and enterprise opportunities,
  cultural, faith and community facilities
• Catering for social & psychological needs –
  understanding how social capital works
• Designing shared spaces – leisure, shopping,
  libraries, sports, arts, festivals
Facilitating change - across communities
• Examples such as school twinning, sports &
  arts programmes, inter-faith networks, youth
  projects – ICD programmes
• Welcome packs – induction programmes
• Special schemes – church/mosque visits;
  living libraries; cooking together
• All to create shared experiences, shared
  spaces, develop respect, trust & shared values
Facilitating change - across communities
• Make it sustainable – social capital/civil society
• And make it mainstream –
      in schools, new ‘duty to promote
      cohesion’; citizenship; gangs etc
      regeneration and housing schemes
      in the workplace, social, sports and cultural
Facilitating change - across communities
• Communications programme, to dispel myths,
  to provide information and to tackle real
• Tackling inequalities and disadvantage (must
  be in the same places!)
• And ensuring mutual respect through status
  and position
Facilitating change– success indicators
• ‘Hard’ and ‘soft’ indicators can be used
• The key indicator – ‘people of different
  backgrounds get on well together’ (but ‘sense
  of belonging’, ‘interaction’, ‘trust’ to be added)
• Ongoing tension monitoring essential
• And engagement with diverse and changing
Fourth response - building partnerships and
• Political parties – re-doing politics
• Civil society as a whole, employers, sports
  people, youth uniform organisations etc
• Creating diversity advantage – creative and
  entrepreneurial centres – and visibility
• Values, symbols & celebrations
Fourth response - building capacity
• Developing technical and managerial
  capacity – eg data, tension monitoring, new
  ‘duty to promote cohesion’ in schools
• Developing political capacity – cross party
• Developing community leaders – ‘gateways’
  rather than ‘gatekeepers’ (and SGF debate)
Building capacity in local communities
• Emphasis on mainstream services, rather than
  specialist provision – housing, education, employment
• Review of labour market – with employers – project
  future needs and skills
• Press & media
• Faith and community sector
• Sport, leisure & culture,
• Partners – universities, police, health,
New roles:
• Manage new population – engagement, services &
  identity – local and national belonging
• Respond to resource needs – eg in schools, health
  & housing
• Manage settlement of new communities and work
  with existing residents
• Prevent & manage conflicts & disputes at early
  stage – not police led
As well as……
• Initiate cross-cultural programmes
  – Understand social capital & bridging
    relationships between communities
• With leadership and vision - and
  commitment from whole community
• And as part of mainstream civil society,
  not a special programme
And build on emerging success!
Ted Cantle
Book: Community Cohesion: a new framework for race and diversity