SPAIS: School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

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Final Report

Final reportTaking Part: Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance (January 2013)

This final report provides the main findings from the most comprehensive study to date on UK Muslim-government relations, which included an analysis of public policy since 1997, a total of 112 interviews with key policymakers and Muslim civil society actors, and in-depth local case studies of Birmingham, Leicester, and Tower Hamlets, London.  The Report describes how British Muslims have been taking part in governance in the three policy fields of equality, diversity & cohesion; faith sector governance; and security (including the Prevent Strategy).  It describes how modes of Muslim representation have developed into a broader 'democratic constellation' (download, pdf 5.5mb).

MPCG Working Papers

#1. Researching Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance: A Brief Introduction (Sept 2010)

This paper briefly outlines the academic literature on Muslim engagement with governance.  It describes the three main UK policy fields that have been most significant for state-Muslim relations since 1997: 1) the faith sector, 2) equality, diversity and cohesion, and 3) security.  The paper ends with a list of research questions we are addressing in this project (download, pdf 450kb).

#2. The New Prevent: Will It Work? Can It Work? (Dec 2011)

The Prevent programme, also known as PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism), is the UK soft-counterterrorism agenda designed by the New Labour government to turn Muslim “hearts and minds” away from extremism. This working paper reviews some of the main critiques of Labour’s Prevent programme, and takes stock of the new Prevent Strategy issued by the Conservative-Liberal government in June 2011.  It considers if the new Prevent Strategy is likely to succeed and, more fundamentally, if a Prevent strategy can succeed on its own terms (download, pdf 450kb).

#3. Faith and the Coalition: A New Confidence to ‘Do God’? (Feb 2012)

New Labour was well known for Alastair Campbell’s statement “We don’t do God.” Recent speeches from Prime Minister David Cameron and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi have suggested that the new coalition government is taking a more confident view of the role of Christianity in British politics. This paper investigates the coalition’s emerging approach to religion and faith through two of its programmes – the new Prevent Strategy and the Near Neighbours programme (download, pdf 400kb)

#4. The Politics of Religious Diversity: Public Event Report (Oct 2012)

On 19 September 2012, the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at Bristol University held an event on ‘The Politics of Religious Diversity’ at Toynbee Hall, East London. It featured research presentations from two major ongoing academic projects at the Centre: MPCG and ACCEPT Pluralism. A high profile panel of Kris Hopkins MP, Sunder Katwala, and Fiyaz Mughal, chaired by Professor Tariq Modood, responded to the presentations. An audience of about 70 from universities, local government, faith groups, think tanks, and civil society organisations contributed with questions and debate (download the full report, pdf 540kb, or visit the event website).

Academic Publications

Therese O'Toole, Daniel Nilsson DeHanas and Tariq Modood: Balancing tolerance, security and Muslim engagement. Article in Critical Studies on Terrorism (December 2012)

In this article (available online, paywall), we consider how engagement with Muslims by the state has been conducted under the UK government’s counter-radicalisation ‘Prevent’ agenda. New Labour’s ‘hearts and minds’ approach was widely criticised for innovative engagement with Muslim communities but criticized for the way it merged Prevent with ‘Community Cohesion’. By contrast, the current Coalition government’s new Prevent strategy signals hardened line on the types of Muslim groups that can be engaged with. However, local actors are often pursuing somewhat different objectives, often outside of central funding streams. Such unintentional localism may sustain more participatory and inclusive modes of engagement with Muslims.

We are currently completing other academic articles and other publications, which present our research findings in greater depth. If you have questions about our research, or would like to be updated when new findings are published, please email mpcg.uk@gmail.com.

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