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Faith-based organisations and exclusion in European cities

Faith-based organisations and exclusion in European cities

Justin Beaumont
Paul Cloke
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  • Book Info
    Faith-based organisations and exclusion in European cities
    Book Description:

    At a time of heightened neoliberal globalisation and crisis, welfare state retrenchment and desecularisation of society, amid uniquely European controversies over immigration, integration and religious-based radicalism, this timely book explores the role played by faith-based organisations (FBOs), which are growing in importance in the provision of social services in the European context. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the contributions to the volume present original research examples and a pan-European perspective to assess the role of FBOs in combating poverty and various expressions of exclusion and social distress in cities across Europe. This significant and highly topical volume should become a vital reference source for the burgeoning number of studies that are likely follow and will make essential reading for students and academics in social policy, sociology, geography, politics, urban studies and theology/ religious studies.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-835-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    Ram A. Cnaan

    Faith-based organisations (FBOs), especially in the European context, are both interesting and understudied. A century ago, Max Weber noted that religious organisations must face the dilemma of administrative versus higher authority. They are unique as they are placed between the state and the people they serve yet they are committed to follow their faith values. In his quest to understand power and organisations he was puzzled by these organisations that, on the one hand, had to function rationally like all other organisations and accumulate resources, maintain staff and interact with their environment, while on the other hand, they were constrained...

  2. ONE Introduction to the study of faith-based organisations and exclusion in European cities
    (pp. 1-34)
    Justin Beaumont and Paul Cloke

    This book on faith-based organisations (FBOs) and exclusion in European cities has a long history. The core idea came about in 2000 when one of us (Justin Beaumont) first came across and was immediately gripped by Norman Lewis’The honoured society(Lewis, 1984). The British travel writer’s non-sensationalist yet sensitive and acutely aware handling of the Sicilian mafia sparked the ideas that over time developed and matured, culminating in this book. In one particularly astounding chapter, Lewis reveals the compelling story of Padre Camelo, the 80-year-old Capuchin (Franciscan) priest, and his fellow monks from the city and commune Mazzarino, in...

  3. Part I: Defining relations of faith-based organisations

    • TWO State–religion relations and welfare regimes in Europe
      (pp. 37-58)
      José Luis Romanillos, Justin Beaumont and Mustafa Şen

      One of the defining features of post-Second World War European economies has been the assumption that the state is responsible for alleviating social hardships produced by capitalist relations. Over the past 20 or 30 years this assumption has been challenged to differing degrees in various national, political and economic contexts. We have witnessed both structural shifts to the functioning of different national ‘welfare regimes’ (Esping-Andersen, 1990; Jessop, 1999), and a situation in which the very notion of ‘welfare’ is increasingly an important site of ideological contestation and political debate. These developments are bound up with a series of political shifts...

    • THREE Spaces of postsecular engagement in cities
      (pp. 59-80)
      Agatha Herman, Justin Beaumont, Paul Cloke and Andrés Walliser

      Postsecularism presents an opportunity – for a space in which religious and secular worldviews can co-exist and enter into dialogue (Gorski and Altinordu, 2008), a ‘rapprochement of ethical praxis’ (Cloke, 2011, p381). In this chapter, we engage with postsecularism through the spatial lens of the city because we consider that a postsecular approach provides a useful set of tools for conceptualising the rich and diverse ground-level engagements occurring between religious and secular groups within the intensive urban environment.

      We start by establishing our understanding of postsecularism before moving on to consider existing literatures on the postsecular city. The multi-scalar role of...

    • FOUR Faith-based organisations, urban governance and welfare state retrenchment
      (pp. 81-104)
      Ingemar Elander, Maarten Davelaar and Andrés Walliser

      In the context of successive financial crises and diminishing welfare provision offered by European governments, new demands and market conditions open new opportunities for profit as well as non-profit providers of social services targeted at socially excluded people. This chapter provides an analysis of faithbased organisations (FBOs) and their relationship to central–local government and related changes in welfare provision aimed at combating social exclusion in the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The central questions addressed are:

      Why are FBOs of interest in times when financial and economic crises trigger governments at all levels to reconsider their responsibilities as providers and...

    • FIVE Radical faith praxis? Exploring the changing theological landscape of Christian faith motivation
      (pp. 105-126)
      Paul Cloke, Samuel Thomas and Andrew Williams

      The principal focus of this book is to chart the significance of faith-based organisations (FBOs) and individuals in tackling various forms of social injustice and exclusion in the city. Underlying this trend is a double-edged question stemming from the changing context of interconnectivity between politics and religion. First, how do we explain the increasing capacity of governance within society to embrace, or at least to tolerate, the involvement of faith groups in issues of justice, welfare and care? This part of the question is addressed in Chapter Four. Second, what factors help to explain the increasing propensity for some faith...

    • SIX Ethical citizenship? Faith-based volunteers and the ethics of providing services for homeless people
      (pp. 127-152)
      Paul Cloke, Sarah Johnsen and Jon May

      One of the key questions underlying the work of faith-based organisations (FBOs) is about the precise role of ‘faith’ in the working and achievement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In other words, what is the significance of the ‘f’ in FBOs? In this chapter, we introduce some research in the field of homelessness in order to explore some aspects of this question. To some extent the emergence of FBOs as an appropriate subject of investigation hangs on this question. The significant empirical trend of increased faith-based activity in particular social settings, serving particular groups of excluded people, has caused academic researchers...

  4. Part II: Sectoral studies

    • SEVEN Changing policies: how faith-based organisations participate in poverty policies
      (pp. 155-172)
      Danielle Dierckx, Jan Vranken and Ingemar Elander

      Promoting participation in decision making is seen as a cure against many problems of policy making in modern societies, with the expectation that participation would ensure better quality of decisions, and close the gap between politicians and citizens. However, shortcomings in participatory processes have also been identified, such as the relation between decision making outside and within the political structure as a result of the formal electoral system. There is furthermore a middle-class bias in decision-making processes, which has led to the (in)voluntary exclusion of groups such as single mothers/parents, minority ethnic groups and the less educated in general.


    • EIGHT Moralising the poor? Faith-based organisations, the Big Society and contemporary workfare policy
      (pp. 173-198)
      Andrew Williams

      The aim of this chapter is to examine welfare-to-work ‘ethics’ in the UK in the context of the current policy regime of the

      ‘Big Society’ and the ways that faith-based organisations (FBOs) challenge those ethics towards more progressive conceptions of social justice. In this way the chapter contributes to the volume at large by showing from a broadly defined governmentality perspective how, in certain instances, FBOs work in and with government policy in order to simultaneously subvert those regimes to tackle social injustices in European cities.

      Since the Coalition government in the UK came to power in May 2010,David Cameron...

    • NINE A shelter from the storm: faith-based organisations and providing relief for the homeless
      (pp. 199-218)
      Maarten Davelaar and Wendy Kerstens

      In this chapter we address one of the most significant areas of faith-based organisation (FBO) activity in many European cities – that of caring for homeless people. As has been made clear in a wide range of international research (see, for example, Jencks, 1995; Takahashi, 1998; Edgar and Doherty, 2001; Hopper, 2003; Edgar et al, 2004; Levinson, 2004; Cloke et al, 2010), homelessness is not a new phenomenon, but due to the increasing on-street visibility of homeless people it has emerged as a major social issue in most developed countries over the last 30 or so years (Toro, 2007). Simultaneously, homelessness...

    • TEN Turkish Islamic organisations: a comparative study in Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey
      (pp. 219-242)
      Jürgen Friedrichs, Jennifer Klöckner, Mustafa Şen and Nynke de Witte

      Five million migrants from Turkey live in European countries and their number has continued to increase; Turks are the largest immigrant group in both Germany and the Netherlands. However, both countries differ markedly in their integration strategies; these strategies and their social and political implications are assessed in this chapter. While in Germany the main issue for Islamic organisations has been to get legally accepted as a religion, in the Netherlands,DiyanetandMillî Görüşare accepted as religions and both are part of the Contact Body Muslims and Government (Contactorgaan Moslims en Overheid, CMO). How does this have an...

    • ELEVEN Convictional communities
      (pp. 243-264)
      Samuel Thomas

      In the context of the UK this chapter explores particular Christian faith-permeated practices in socioeconomically deprived areas. The chapter engages with forms of praxis that are born out of a critical dissidence with the way faith is often (not) translated into action and is at times physically distant from ‘nearly forgotten places’ (Thompson, 2010, p 120).

      The importance of this chapter is to highlight an emerging turn in some faith-based organisational practice. While most faith-based organisations (FBOs) establish an organisational presence among the socially marginalised, there has recently been a move towards a more incarnational personal presence among such people...

    • TWELVE Conclusion: the faith-based organisation phenomenon
      (pp. 265-278)
      Paul Cloke and Justin Beaumont

      We would like to conclude with a summary of the central themes of state/society/religion relations addressed by the contributions in this volume. We allude to thefaith-based organisation (FBO) phenomenonas a notion or idea that has evoked a series of dilemmas but that also signifies a fascinating and still relatively underexplored area of research in Europe today. In the second section of this conclusion we discuss eight propositions that will potentially drive new research in European FBOs and the struggle against poverty, exclusion and injustice in the future.

      In recent history there have been a series of key moments...