Building the Bridge: Muslim community engagement in Bristol

Aleksandra E Lewicki, Therese O'Toole, Tariq Modood

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

168 Downloads (Pure)


This report explores the emergence of Building the Bridge, an organisation that was established to implement the previous Government’s Prevent agenda. Commentators have argued that the city of Bristol managed to turn the implementation of Prevent into a genuine collaboration between public authorities and Bristol’s Muslim communities, which manifested itself in the re-branding of Prevent as ‘Building the Bridge’. Building the Bridge emerged as a participatory mechanism for community
engagement that established a new institutionalised relationship between Bristol City Council, the Police, various statutory agencies and Bristol’s diverse Muslim community. Building the Bridge was widely celebrated as a story of local success and a model of good practice, particularly in comparison with how Prevent had been implemented and received elsewhere. Our research examined in greater detail to what extent Building the Bridge facilitated a genuinely participatory engagement between
public authorities and Bristol’s Muslim communities. In this report, we discuss our findings regarding the organisations’ dynamics of participation and representation, the kinds of activities initiated by Building the Bridge, and offer some reflections on a possible future for Building the Bridge, beyond Prevent. Although its activities were chiefly concerned with the overall aim of preventing violent extremism, Building the Bridge enabled interventions that addressed some key community grievances and facilitated the engagement of young people, women and mosque communities in the city. For a short period of time, Prevent funding enabled a regulated form of community engagement,
some of which has continued even after the withdrawal of resources.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Bristol
Commissioning bodyEconomic and Social Research Council
Number of pages67
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


Dive into the research topics of 'Building the Bridge: Muslim community engagement in Bristol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this