The ‘metropolis of dissent’: Muslim participation in Leicester and the ‘failure’ of multiculturalism in Britain

Stephen Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Focusing on Muslim participation in the governance of Leicester in the East Midlands of England, this article contests prevalent assumptions about the contemporary politics of multiculturalism. Specifically, it questions two narratives on the subject: first, a descriptive narrative about multiculturalism being in retreat; and second, a normative narrative about multiculturalism undermining national culture. Using interview, ethnographic and archival research, the article shows how a programme of multicultural politics has been implemented in Leicester that, while shifting, has remained firmly in place across national political and policy changes. It also demonstrates how this model of multicultural practice has emphasized civic communitarianism and utilized British national traditions. Using the above methods, the article questions the terms of political debate about multiculturalism, and considers how ‘convivial’ and ‘communitarian’ theoretical approaches to multiculturalism can renew and refashion multicultural political practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1985
Number of pages17
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number11
Early online date14 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015


  • Multiculturalism
  • Leicester
  • Muslims
  • Governance
  • Minority incorporation
  • Faith participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Religious studies


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