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Title: Incorporating the needs of ethnic minority and migrant communities in the policy process in Northern Ireland through the consultation of voluntary and community organisations
Author: Bradley, Bethany Waterhouse
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 313X
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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There has been a shift from top-down decision-making in many European countries in recent decades and a movement towards inclusive policy development. This is a key issue with regards to ethnic minority and migrant groups, who often experience poverty, social exclusion, and lower rates of participation in the political process. Almond and Verba (1963) found that the voluntary and community sector (VeS) plays a crucial intermediary role in political engagement. This method of political incorporation has been adopted by many Western democracies, and in the United Kingdom, policy towards the ves recognises the role of the sector in policy development. This research uses an evidence base from Northern Ireland to assess the efficacy of consulting the ves on behalf of ethnic minorities and migrants in policy development. Findings from interviews and document analysis in Northern Ireland showed that there are significant efforts made to engage ethnic minority and migrant groups in the policy process, and that the majority of this is done through the VCS. There are positives in this process, and examples of best practice do exist. However there is little evidence that the consultation process has been successful in reflecting the 'voice' of ethnic minorities in policy-making, particularly in the stages of implementation and monitoring. Borne out of Hooghe (2005)'s application of the Amsterdam model of political opportunity structure to ethnic minority movements, this thesis identifies four key factors which impact on the efficacy of the consultation process in representing the interests of ethnic minority and migrant groups in decision-making: the process of consultation; the systems and structures in which consultation takes place; the capacity and resources of stakeholders; and relationships between stakeholders. It argues that for this method to be effective, potential obstacles in each of these elements must be addressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available