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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