Parekh's theory of multiculturalism offers a number of insights which are useful in analysing the role of neighbourhood governance in promoting social cohesion within culturally diverse small areas. The problems of neighbourhood governance are rooted in disjointed structural change across Europe over the past 25 years. In this context, the formation of a multicultural European polity risks creating a white European ethnicity which will institutionalise specific forms of racism within distressed neighbourhoods. At the same time, the shift from government to governance as a way to address the problems of governability in structurally reconstituted societies is associated with the top-down imposition of specific forms of neighbourhood governance which can then, unwittingly, become part of the institutionalisation of racism. Using Parekh's theory to construct a critique yields a set of principles which illuminate a number of key strategic elements which can be used practically in designing neighbourhood governance mechanisms and which illuminate the pre-occupations in the existing literature
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