Cultural Writing. Political Science. CONSENSUS OR COERCION? offers a new perspective on post-war British history and the welfare state. It examines the relationship between 'the people' and 'the state' in areas as diverse as race relations, housing, social services, political activism, television and the family. Focusing upon the notion of social cohesion, the book argues that the British state's ability to represent itself as the crucial factor in the maintenance of this social cohesion has been of paramount importance to the state's continued existence.