Kenan has revised his views on the way identity politics has created unrepresentative community leaders. He points out how the effect of this practice (widely used by local authorities, the police and many other public agencies) has homogenised minority communities and denied their diversity.

Kenan says that this ‘community, or group, representation is inevitably anti-democratic. So-called community leaders are generally unelected, self-appointed and unaccountable. They have achieved their positions largely because the state needs such people to do business with’

Drawing upon experience in Birmingham Kenan also suggests that ‘the logic of such identity politics (is that) it undermines the possibilities of social change by subordinating political goals to the demands of ethnic identity’

I have also argued against ‘gatekeeper’ community leadership systems (see my publications section), but Keenan does it with far more principled effect.

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Advocates on interculturalism have been meeting in Montreal (12th April, 2013) to develop the concept and to provide a compelling programme for policy makers and practitioners. Academics and policy makers from Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Germany and the UK (represented by Ted Cantle and Phil Wood) have thrashed out new ways of promoting the ideas and putting them into practice. Ted Cantle said ‘this is both necessary and urgent, there is little confidence in the multicultural model and we need the progressive alternative of interculturalism to attract support and to make sense of the era of globalisation and super-diversity’. Expect to see some new publications later this year and for the international networks to grow.

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David Cannadine’s book The Undivided Past: History Beyond Our Difference hits a spot with me. History does create a ‘them and us’ view of the world in which, for example, all Germans were evil in the last war, or all Muslims are part of a distinct ‘other’ civilisation. I accept some of Richard Overy’s points in his New Statesman critique and Cannadine’s apparent dismissal of class, but that does not make Cannadine’s central thesis wrong.

History homogenises both ‘us’ and ‘them’. And Cannadine is offering a new and radical perspective.

The New Statesman sees Cannadine as ‘a dreamer’, but the only way to escape the past is to create a vision of the future. I think Cannadine has made a great contribution to the development of interculturalism

See New Statesman Article at http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/03/reviewed-undivided-past-david-cannadine

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I have been responsible for developing the idea of ‘’ for the new era of globalisation and super-diversity. This is the subject of his new book – Interculturalism: The New Era of Cohesion and Diversity

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My book Community Cohesion: a New Framework for Race and Diversity) provides a historical background and review of current policy and practice.

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It has taken us 50 years to prove that there is just one human race. The pseudo-science of the Eugenicists has been dismissed and we know that the same blood runs through the veins of all humankind – Nazi nonsense too has been dismissed. The human genome project has demonstrated that there is as much genetic difference within ethnic groups as between them.

But the idea of ‘race’ is fast being replaced by ….

…ethnic, religious and national groups who still pretend that they have some intrinsic difference and superiority. These new boundaries are as divisive and nonsensical as the idea of race.

Perhaps now is the time to sign up to the human race. Yes, be proud of whatever ancestry we  might have but let’s begin to cross out all of those ‘tick boxes’ that divide us and simply  write ‘human’!

Many younger people in particular are left in the no mans land of ‘mixed race’, as though they have lost their identity. This is madness. They are showing that it is possible to have more than one exclusive identity. It is possible to be ‘human above all’, and still take pride in our own community and individuality.

Sign up to the human race!

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Interculturalism - Community Cohesion