Brokerage in urban networks on diversity and inclusion: The case of Rotterdam

Maria Schiller*, Isabel Awad Cherit, Nikki Buijse, Marlyn Chantre, Yu-Cheng Huang, Elina Jonitz, Laura van den Brink, Leonieke van Dordrecht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Urban governance research posits a trend towards more cooperation between state and non-state actors. We also know that civil society organizations working on common issues often reinforce each other to secure a stronger voice. However, little research so far brings together urban governance and civil society coordination. This is particularly interesting for the action and policy field of diversity and inclusion, given its constant flux, multi-dimensionality, and political salience, as well as the many competing actors and agendas. Based on an in-depth case study of the city of Rotterdam, this article investigates the relations among organizations that focus on the interests of migrants and other marginalized residents and between these organizations and the municipality. We use qualitative and quantitative Social Network Analysis and draw on 27 semi-structured qualitative interviews as well as 25 network maps carried out with and drawn by representatives of civil society organizations. Our findings show a stratified governance network of actors working on diversity and inclusion in Rotterdam, where only a few large organizations serve as brokers, facilitating exchange but sometimes also reinforcing existing power relations. These findings underscore the importance of critically reviewing the collaborative character of urban governance in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104219
Number of pages11
Early online date28 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We're grateful for the funding received by the EUR initiative “Vital cities and citizens” for carrying out this research.

Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors

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