The Changing Agenda of Race Issues in Local Government: the Case of a London Borough

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The paper argues that race issues in local government are not composed of a single uniform agenda. Instead, the agenda varies between locality and over time. These agendas are the product of the interaction between the level of organizational coherence and the degree of racial explicitness of local politics and policy‐making. The case of Ealing Borough demonstrates the extent to which the language and substance of race policy debate‐ the agenda of race ‐was transformed over the period analysed (1965–86). The traditional liberal framework for public policy discussion of racerelated issues has served to shape ‐ and constrain ‐ the local politics of race in Britain. Despite a number of important setbacks and failures, the framework continues to exert considerable influence in the way in which it devolves race policy to local arenas, places heavy and unmanageable burdens on the voluntary sector, gives priority to racial harmony over racial equality goals, and denies legitimacy to those groups committed to racially explicit political strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-121
Number of pages22
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


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