Building the bridge: Muslim community engagement in Bristol

Lewicki, Aleksandra, O'Toole, Therese and Modood, Tariq (2014) Building the bridge: Muslim community engagement in Bristol. Other. Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol, Bristol.

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Bristol, the previous Government’s Prevent Programme was implemented collaboratively by public authorities and Muslim communities in the city, which manifested itself in the re-branding of Prevent as ‘Building the Bridge’. Building the Bridge emerged as a participatory mechanism for community engagement that established a new institutionalised relationship between Bristol City Council, the Police, diverse statutory agencies and Bristol’s diverse Muslim community. The multiagency forum was widely celebrated as a story of local success and a model of good practice, particularly in comparison with how Prevent had been implemented and received elsewhere. Our research examined in greater detail to what extent Building the Bridge facilitated a genuinely participatory engagement between public authorities and Bristol’s Muslim communities. We investigated the organisations’ dynamics of participation and representation, the kinds of activities initiated by Building the Bridge, and developed three models for how Building the Bridge could be taken beyond Prevent. Although its activities were chiefly concerned with the overall aim of preventing violent extremism, Building the Bridge enabled interventions that addressed some key community grievances and facilitated the engagement of young people, women and mosque communities in the city. For a short period of time, Prevent funding enabled a regulated form of community engagement, some of which has continued even after the withdrawal of resources. The Bristol experience demonstrates how local authorities can institutionalise regular civic interactions with minority communities in diverse localities. We argue that the city should draw on this success and further institutionalise this collaboration within Building the Bridge.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Other)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT0101 Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT1501 Races Including race as a social group and race relations in general
Depositing User: Aleksandra Lewicki
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 10:39
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 13:58

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