The think-tank Theos, which works to inform the debate about the place of religion in society, has released a report entitled ‘Making multiculturalism work: enabling practical action across deep difference’. The report, authored by David Barclay, responds to the widespread rejection of state multiculturalism and advocates a new approach to living together, “grounded not in theory but in practice” using localised ‘political friendships’ through which people learn to live and work together.
The report looks at the Near Neighbours programme, alongside community organising, as an example of how ordinary relationships across religious and cultural difference are the key to achieving a truly multicultural society. It is through working side by side and pursuing common goals rather than through abstract national values that true multiculturalism will be achieved.
“Demos is a think-tank focused on power and politics. Our unique approach challenges the traditional, ‘ivory tower’ model of policy making by giving a voice to people and communities. We work together with the groups and individuals who are the focus of our research, including them in citizens’ juries, deliberative workshops, focus groups and ethnographic research. Through our high quality and socially responsible research, Demos has established itself as the leading independent think-tank in British politics.
In 2013, our work is focused on four programmes: Family and Society; Public Services and Welfare; Violence and Extremism; and Citizens. Alongside and connected with our research programes, Demos has political projects focused on the burning issues in current political thinking, including the Progressive Conservatism Project, the Centre for London at Demos and Demos Collections, bringing together topical essays by leading thinkers and commentators.
Our work is driven by the goal of a society populated by free, capable, secure and powerful citizens."
“We recognise the importance of ethnicity to the study of contemporary societies and polities, and to prospects for social justice and social cohesion. Based in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies(SPAIS) and the Bristol Institute of Public Affairs(BIPA), the Centre co-ordinates and promotes the study of ethnicity in two broad areas:
Ethnicity, migration and state structures and policies, the politics of multiculturalism and other forms of ‘difference’, including gendered ethnicity and ethno-religious identities, challenges to secularism, the nation-state and the emergence of new forms of political participation and governance.
Ethnicity and socio-economic structures, with a particular focus on racialised exclusion, inter-generational poverty, labour markets, education, ethnic stratification and social mobility, ethnic competition and ethnic and transnational networks as an economic and family resource.
With the growth of the Muslim populations in western Europe and concerns about integration, a special regional and comparative focus has emerged on Muslims and the place of religion in public affairs.”
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