Transnational Soup: Translating Local Integration Policies Across Borders

With Hannah Jones: 14 September 2013, Apples and Oranges: Practising Comparison, Centre for the Study of Invention & Social Process, Goldsmiths, London; 20 March 2013, UCL Geography Urban Salon, London


Hannah Jones, Research Associate, Department of Social Policy and Criminology, The Open University


Ben Gidley, Senior Researcher, Centre on Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford

Discussant: Prof Allan Cochrane, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University

Abstract: This paper explores how European cities develop and innovate in policies for migrant integration, and how these policies might be researched transnationally. It is based on empirical research [1] into the role of local and regional authorities in integration, and the importance of communication and public attitudes. Our research suggests that adoption of promising practices might be most effective when more radically adapted to suit local contexts. The paper reflects on the methodological problems of comparison and how municipalities might learn from each other despite these challenges. We relate this to broader theoretical discussions about the possibilities of comparison in urban studies, and the particular problems of methodological and conceptual nationalism. While not arguing for a return to these reductive approaches, we argue that in policy implementation as well as in theoretical work, it is necessary to recognize the complexities of local and national context when translating practice.


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About bengidley

Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. View all posts by bengidley

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