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Race and Disorder: Addressing Social Disadvantages through State Regeneration in a Multi-Ethnic Community in Leeds

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • L400 Social Policy
  • L700 Human And Social Geography
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Political Science

Abstract

This thesis critically examines governmental responses to physical and social disorder in inner-city neighbourhoods through urban regeneration policies. Through an exploration of historical, social and political narratives on urban areas, the thesis identifies that the concept of dangerous places and faces has been a dominant discourse and feature in Britain for the past 200 years. Using Chapeltown, Leeds as a case study, this thesis explores the urban regeneration interventions in this area. Chapeltown is selected because it is, historically, a community with a high population of minority ethnic people and immigrants. Thus, ‘race’ and racism, and a critique of public policies as they affect UK Black and minority ethnic communities are the primary concerns of this thesis. It is argued that the tools of urban regeneration aimed at tackling physical and social disorder such as partnership, participation and community involvement/engagement are mere ‘rhetorical devices’ that are out of sync with normative standards of citizenship and fairness. The thesis has adopted a case study research methodology. It argues that for social and physical disorder to be tackled, there is the need to consider how the concept of citizenship should be the central issue in urban regeneration policies. The thesis concludes that the processes that result in some urban neighbourhoods being considered ‘bad’, ‘dangerous’ or ‘criminal’ must be understood as part of a broader set of political-economic forces which shapes the spatial distribution of urban populations and, in particular, the ‘placing’ of the poor in urban space. Hence there is the need to examine the social and physical disorder using the lens of citizenship.

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