The University of Manchester has launched a collection of essays from researchers which looks closely at extremism and social cohesion in the UK.
The purpose of OnCohesion is to offer new insight, research evidence and expert comment about these issues which will be shared with key stakeholders. It will tie in with work being done by the Preventing Hateful Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion Commission formed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
The publication includes an introduction from Mr Burnham reflecting on the Manchester attack. It also has essays representing the individual views of academics supported by research and opinion produced by Policy@Manchester. Some of the primary issues discussed are:
- The importance of youth engagement building social cohesion
- The role economic inequality has to play in violent extremism
- Why embracing language diversity is a key to community cohesion
- The impact of the Prevent strategy
‘On Cohesion’ follows previous successful Policy@Manchester publications On Devo, On Brexit and On Energy. OnBrexit was downloaded and viewed over 9,000 times. OnEnergy was launched in Parliament to key stakeholders and has been used to engage with a variety of policy makers.
“My piece in OnCohesion examines the evidence to date on one of the factors frequently cited as a driver of violent extremism – socio-economic inequality.” said Hilary Pilkington, Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Science at The University of Manchester.
While structural inequalities need to be addressed with targeted interventions at Government and Local Authority level, provisional insights from our research suggest that people’s perceptions of inequality are just as important as actual inequality in generating grievance that can lead to extremism.”