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Promoting social cohesionImplications for policy and evaluation$
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Peter Ratcliffe and Ines Newman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426956

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426956.001.0001

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From community to social cohesion: interrogating a policy paradigm

From community to social cohesion: interrogating a policy paradigm

(p.14) (p.15) One From community to social cohesion: interrogating a policy paradigm
Promoting social cohesion

Peter Ratcliffe

Policy Press

This chapter first traces the historical and ideological backdrop to the emergence of cohesion policies. It then describes the concept of ‘community cohesion’ and the development of the associated policies and practices. The narrative then shifts to the relationship between the latter phenomena and the rapidly evolving equalities agenda. It is noted that the focus on ‘community cohesion’ is misplaced, and that policies should be driven by the much more fundamental notion of ‘social cohesion’. The earlier assessment of the social-capital approach casts considerable doubt on its efficacy. The vision of a future where ‘similar life opportunities’ are the norm is part of a much more extensive policy agenda. It appears that in social-policy circles, those at the helm find it difficult to resist the temptation to recycle earlier approaches.

Keywords:   community cohesion, social cohesion, equalities agenda, policy agenda, social policy, social capital

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