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The neoliberalisation of formal governmental relations with Britain’s Muslim communities
This article argues that new governance spaces evidence a paradigm shift that has irretrievably changed how formal governmental relations with Britain’s Muslim communities are established, facilitated and maintained. It is a paradigm shift that is driven by the ideology of neoliberalism and the efficacy of the market. Having begun under New Labour, this shift was further catalysed by the election of the Conservative-led Coalition government in 2010 and successive Conservative-majority governments since premised on the basis of the ‘problematisation’ of Muslims and the religion of Islam. This article evidences that in addition to transforming the nature of formal governmental relations, so too has it transformed who ‘represents’ Britain’s Muslims as indeed the issues engaged. Drawing on participatory approaches that afford unprecedented access to the political spaces and mechanisms within which formal governmental relations with Britain’s Muslims were facilitated, this article uses critical analyses of three social issues - counter extremism, Islamophobia and child sexual exploitation – to illustrate this article’s overarching narrative.