In the context of the UK public policy goal to increase community and social cohesion, this article explores the nature of local 'bridge-building' – activities intended to increase interpersonal contacts between diverse ethnic, faith and nationality groups. We draw on earlier research in a range of fields to develop the bridge-building concept and present findings from a study that identified community-level projects with bridge-building as a specific aim. We show the range of groupings involved, the activities encompassed and their organisational features. We consider the actual and potential contribution of local bridge-building to cohesion in the light of earlier research and our own study.
Bibliographical noteThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Policy and politics. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Harris, M., & Young, P. (2009). Developing community and social cohesion through grassroots bridge-building: an exploration. Policy and politics, 37(4), 517-534. is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/030557309X435529
Harris, M., & Young, P. (2009). Developing community and social cohesion through grassroots bridge-building: an exploration. Policy and Politics, 37(4), 517-534. https://doi.org/10.1332/030557309X435529