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  • Author or Editor: Katherine Tonkiss x
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This article explores how pro-refugee civil society organisations discursively navigate the challenges of influencing policy in contexts that are largely hostile to their perspective, and the tensions implicit in doing so. It draws on rich documentary data to present an analysis of the policy narratives of seven case study organisations in the UK. Through this analysis, the article argues that these narratives form an ‘assemblage’ of discursive conformity to and contestation of the dominant construction of the policy problem, with the organisations concurrently positioned both as experts in the field and as facilitating expert knowledge transfer from refugees themselves. It is through this assemblage that the organisations negotiate the dilemmas arising from their largely adversarial positioning in the policy debate.

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Multi-scalar Perspectives

Immigration has transformed the social, economic, political and cultural landscapes of global cities such as London, Melbourne, Milan and Amsterdam. The term ‘superdiversity’ captures a new era of migration-driven demographic diversifications and associated complexities. Superdiversity is the future or, in many cases, the current reality of neighbourhoods, cities, countries and regions, yet the implications of superdiversification for governance and policy have, until now, received very little attention.

First published as a special issue of Policy & Politics, this insightful volume brings together contributions from experts across Europe to explore the ways in which superdiversity has shaped the development of policy and to consider challenges for the future.

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This introductory chapter provides an overview of superdiversity. Patterns of migration to high-income countries until the 1990s mainly consisted of many migrants coming from a few countries to a small number of places. Around the turn of the 1990s, however, a new pattern of migration and associated diversification was observed. Since its inception, the concept of ‘superdiversity’ was meant to move beyond an observation of ethnic and national diversity, to capture the multidimensional aspect of the processes of diversification driven by new migration, including variables such as gender and age, faith, patterns of distribution, language, labour market experiences, and different immigration statuses. The chapter then considers the politics and governance of superdiversity.

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This chapter assesses the articulation of notions of ‘good citizenship’ in the conceptualisation and operationalisation of policies targeting the cultural literacy of young people in the UK over the past decade. To do so, it analyses the findings of a systematic review of relevant policy documents published between 2007 and 2018. Cultural literacy policies have been used to promote a particular vision of the good citizen through a ‘neoliberal communitarian’ model of governance. This model combines the individualising logics of neoliberalism that emphasise responsibility and self-regulation with the collective focus of communitarianism on shared culture and values. These threads are deployed simultaneously to ‘responsibilise’ citizens in order to reduce the perceived burden that they present to the state, as well as to police nationalist parameters of inclusion and exclusion.

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