Ted Cantle established the former Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo) in 2005 and this became the UK’s leading authority on community cohesion and intercultural relations. Ted’s work is now carried on by this iCoCo Foundation which promotes interculturalism and community cohesion.
In August 2001, Ted Cantle was appointed by the Home Secretary to Chair the Community Cohesion Review Team and to lead the review of the causes of the summer disturbances in a number of northern towns and cities.
The ground breaking Report – known as The ‘Cantle Report’ – was produced in December 2001 and made around 70 recommendations. It also created the concept of ‘parallel lives’ to describe communities that had little in common and had no contact with each other. In so doing, it re-established the importance of ‘contact theory’ as a means of reducing prejudice and improving tolerance and understanding of the ‘other’. This also challenged the multicultural orthodoxy based on essentialised identities and gave birth to the idea of ‘community cohesion’.
Community cohesion was subsequently adopted by the UK Government and many of the interventions which it spawned have been used by local communities in this country and around the world. Community cohesion programmes have succeeded in reducing tension in local communities by promoting cross cultural contact, developing support for diversity and promoting unity. Community cohesion also continues to tackle inequality and the prejudice and discrimination which underpins it, whilst interculturalism provides a wider and progressive narrative to replace the outmoded concept of multiculturalism.
Ted’s books Community Cohesion: a New Framework for Race and Diversity and Interculturalism: the New Era of Cohesion and Diversity (both published by Palgrave Macmillan) provide the historical background, a review of current policy and practice and a compelling future perspective of these issues.