A HUDDERSFIELD lecturer has published a key book analysing the concepts of community cohesion and multi-culturalism.

Ten years on from the northern riots that shocked the country, University of Huddersfield lecturer Dr Paul Thomas has produced a book that explores whether government policies can heal the divisions in troubled areas where riots once erupted?

Dr Thomas, a senior lecturer in youth and community work, carried out detailed, street-level research and interviewed more than 600 youths in a bid to find out what the government’s community cohesion policy has actually meant in practice.

His book, Youth, Multi-Culturalism and Community Cohesion, examines the subject at a national level, including an examination of youth identity in Rochdale and Oldham.

He said: “The new book examines the causes of the 2001 riots – events which were seen by the Government of the day as symptomatic of wider problems in Britain, although there were local trigger factors, such as political agitation by the far right and some clumsy policing.

“In the intervening years a lot of work has been done to try and prevent a repetition of the riots.

“There is not only the long-term work that I have identified, but also much better co-ordination by local authorities, community groups, and the police to try and spot trouble and nip it in the bud.

“However, underlying problems like segregation, poverty and political agitation by extremists aren’t going away. So I wouldn’t like to be complacent that there’ll never be trouble again.”

Dr Thomas said he did not believe that community cohesion and multi-culturalism were necessarily opposites.

Youth, Multi-Culturalism and Community Cohesion, by Paul Thomas, is published by Palgrave Macmillan.