It is a common complaint that in Britain public debate features few voices and rarely examines areas beyond the country’s capital. This includes debate about religion, which tends to focus on the development of policies at the national level rather than their implementation locally. This is a profound shame because, when it comes to discussing and debating religion and public policy, context matters. The religious composition of the UK differs hugely from place to place, as, of course, does the political landscape.
To remedy this, every three months Public Spirit will host a series of articles placing the spotlight on a particular city in the UK. These will give an insight into the character of each area and its local politics and enable those working in policymaking to see how specific strategies are worked out.
The local spotlights series will have four main features:
- An area profile: an article introducing readers to the city’s demographic makeup and its religious and political character.
- An analysis article: a short essay on faith and politics in the city offering an evaluation of local political issues and highlighting the implications for national debates about multiculturalism and faith-based politics.
- Reflections and responses: short comments from academics who have written about the area and local government and civil society actors based in the area.
- Resources: a guide to resources and other research on the area, including local government documents, data sources and recent academic research.
Public Spirit‘s fist local spotlight will be on Leicester, the most religiously diverse city in the UK, and will appear on the site in early September.