Migration Policy Institute Europe has just published a new report by Sundas Ali and me on mainstreaming integration policy in the UK. The work was done last summer as part of an MPI Europe project for the Dutch government described here. The work informed the Upstream project which we subsequently developed with Erasmus University Rotterdam. The following is from the MPI Europe website.
Although the United Kingdom has large foreign-born and native-born ethnic minority populations, there has been little policy activity in the area of immigrant integration in the country. Instead, since 2010 integration issues have been subsumed within broader concerns about diversity, equality, and social cohesion.
This report explores the United Kingdom’s unique experience with immigrant integration, which is strongly influenced by its colonial ties. Following World War II, the United Kingdom received a wave of migrants from its former colonies, many of whom were already British citizens, spoke English, and maintained strong ties to what they consider their mother country. As a result, native-born citizens have been reluctant to think of migrants as such, preferring instead to consider them minorities. Government programs and civil-society groups engage migrants, particularly migrant and minority youth, as part of communities rather than as discrete entities.
This mainstreaming of integration policy—attempting to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population—has been supported by societal norms emphasizing inclusion and antidiscrimination as well as an ideological commitment to localism at the national level. These factors, combined with suspicion of top-down regulation, have led the national government to relinquish responsibility in integration matters to local governments. Localities, including case-study cities London and Glasgow, now have the space to develop innovative approaches to integration, but must overcome low levels of funding due to austerity measures.
I. Introduction: The General Context of Immigration and Integration
A. Migrants and Minorities
B. The History of UK Integration Policy
C. Integration Since 2010
D. Local and Regional Level Integration Policy
II. Mainstreaming Integration Policy: To What Extent and How Deliberate?
A. Race Relations and Equality
B. Social Inclusion and Social Mobility
III. Youth as a Central Focus of Integration Policy
A. The Preventing Violent Extremism Program
B. NEETs and Social Inclusion
C. Youth Social Mobility
IV. Targeting Within Mainstreaming: Youth Policy and Provisions for Youth of Immigrant Origin
A. Case Study: Glasgow
B. Case Study: London