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Patriots of the Future? a Critical Examination of Community Cohesion Strategies in Contemporary Britain

By Derek McGhee

Abstract

This paper focuses on four inter-related areas of recent public policy in Britain associated with community cohesion, asylum and immigration, the Strength in Diversity consultation strategy and counter-terrorism. This paper comprises of a critical examination of the various reports, speeches and strategies associated with these areas of public policy. The central concern of the paper is to explore the relationship between these areas of public policy through illuminating the extent of the \'policy tropes\' common to each, for example, (1) the problematization of the weakness of \'citizenship\' in contemporary Britain and the strategy for revitalizing it, common to all four policy areas; (2) the emphasis on \'the material\' over \'the cultural\' in the explanations of \'weak integration\' in these policy areas; and (3) the ethnic and religious minority focus in all four areas. The relationship exposed between these policy tropes is then used in the paper to suggest that the focus on ethnic and minority communities (especially young Muslims) within this discursive formation, belies a barely repressed risk consciousness that informs the wider rhetoric of building community cohesion in twenty-first century Britain.Diversity, Community Cohesion, Asylum, Ethnic Minorities

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