Increasing political concern over segregation, extremism, and value conflicts subject Muslim civil society organisations to a great deal of critical attention across Europe, both as problematic and as potential partners for policy interventions. Both national and local authorities seek out organisations that can represent Muslims and other minority groups in policy development and delivery, yet politicians discredit multiculturalism as a political project. This paper uses the implementation of a Norwegian grant scheme as an opportunity to investigate how local implementation of national policy may explain why multiculturalism, while discredited, can continue at different policy levels or under other names, and how local adaptation shapes relations with Muslim civil society organisations. The analysis builds on a review of the grant scheme's historical transformation, a dataset of applications and grant distributions in each municipality, and interviews with all 20 local administrators who implement the scheme today. It shows how municipalities mainly use the grant to promote a convivial multiculturalism of cross-ethnic individual mixing, but also engage in cooperation with Muslim organisations through a pragmatic form of multicultural governance.
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