Race and Local Politics by Wendy Ball, John Solomos

By Wendy Ball, John Solomos

This article goals to supply a close evaluation of coverage clash and alter within the sector of race kinfolk and native politics throughout the Nineteen Eighties and studies a number of the clients for the Nineties. It assesses the goals, improvement and impression of race-related guidelines constructed by means of neighborhood specialists. It additionally addresses the political controversies and debates that have surrounded those regulations and the issues which were confronted in imposing them. "Race and native Politics" is one in a chain of volumes designed for undergraduate and graduate classes in politics and in city geography and sociology. This sequence, "Government past the Centre" specializes in the realm of sub-central executive and management, together with neighborhood professionals, quasi-governmental our bodies and the firms in public-private partnerships. Its target is to supply updated and informative debts of the hot different types of govt, administration and management which are rising.

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The formal structures which underpin the personnel function organisation as a separate department rather than as a central services section, reporting lines to a full committee rather than to a sub-committee - seem to provide only approximate indicators of power. More important is the derived power that flows from the engagement in personnel issues of the authority's most senior politicians. It is through informality also that the impediments posed by the organisational context so far described may be subverted.

The precise form which an equal opportunity policy takes may be shaped by the ethnic composition of the locality, the recruitment issues and efforts taking different forms according to the linguistic or other characteristics of the local communities. An equal opportunities policy might be explicitly geared to opening up blue collar employment; or it might concentrate (perhaps for reasons of internal political or administrative opportunism) on the white-collar grades; or it might cover both. But local authorities also place quite different emphases on equal opportunities for ethnic minorities, for women, for disabled people or for gays and lesbians.

The shire counties are more differentiated still, with education departments enjoying more apparent autonomy than in the metropolitan districts. The organisational context of pronounced vertical and lateral differentiation tends to militate against the implementation of any universalist policy, the more so where the central integrating functions - chief executive, personnel, management services - are weak or limited in their scope. Integrating mechanisms One popular route to non-exclusionary or anti-racist practice is through the tightening of procedures to limit the discretion from which discrimination can flow.

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