Some items from May’s COMPAS newsletter:
Autumn Academy: Residential course on cities and integration
As part of the Action for Inclusion in Europe project COMPAS is running a five day residential course in Oxford, 5 – 9 October 2015, on cities and integration for practitioners and local policy makers working at city level. The course will cover a variety of issues including the role of cities and their partners in integration and the different approaches to policy intervention across Europe. See here for details and how to apply. Extended Deadline for application, 22 June 2015. [I am the course director for this.]
The COMPAS Breakfast Briefings Series continues its 5th session. The briefings present topical, cutting edge research on migration and migration related issues. These events are by invitation only, but if you would like to attend, just get in touch! In July the Migration Observatory team will talk about what the 2015 election means for migration to the UK.
UK Launch of MIPEX 2015
COMPAS is hosting the UK launch of MIPEX 2015, a global index of integration policy, on the afternoon of 11 June, in London. The last edition of the index was published in 2010 when the UK scored in the top 10. Five years later, after a period of fiscal austerity and changed political priorities, find out how Britain compares with other countries in areas such as citizenship, anti-discrimination, family reunion, migrant workers’ rights and the education of immigrant children. Coming shortly after the election and looking back over the five years of the previous parliament, the debate at the launch event will clarify the integration agenda for the coming parliament.
City Working Groups
This is a second initiative of the Action for Inclusion in Europe project. The City Working Groups element of this project aims to secure tangible reforms in city practices in Europe that address the exclusion of marginal communities via action-oriented learning exchange. Three working groups are being set up, each focusing on a particular area of city- or municipal-level policy and practice:
- Cohesion and belonging: building a shared civic identity [convened by Ben Gidley]
- Education: engaging parents for better outcomes [convened by Caroline Oliver]
- Homelessness: solutions for excluded migrants [convened by Jonathan Price]
DCLG integration round tables
As an initiative of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, Sarah Spencer and Ben Gidley co-organised three closed-door roundtables on integration processes and integration policy with the Integration and Faith Division of the UK’s Department of Communities and Local Government, hosted at their London office. The aim was to inform understanding and stimulate debate on integration processes, outcomes and policy interventions. Three experts were commissioned to produce briefings on key evidence questions for each session: Professor Andrew Thompson, Varun Uberoi and Will Somerville on key concepts; Professor Anthony Heath, Nissa Finney and Professor Linda Platt on integration outcomes; and Professor Miles Hewstone, Professor Jenny Philimore and Vidhya Ramalingam on what works. The briefings are available on our website. Ben and Vidhya participated in a further informal workshop at the DCLG, giving evidence on what works in combating extremism.
Upstream, a research project on municipal migrant integration policies across Europe whose UK research is led by Ole Jensen and Ben Gidley, will conclude this summer. The project’s new website is launching at projectupstream.wordpress.com. The website will soon feature Ole’s report on how UK cities are mainstreaming migrant education and social cohesion, and Ben’s report on comparing practices across Europe. In March 2015, COMPAS hosted a UK policy roundtable with participation from local and national government officials, and organised a study visit by integration experts from the city of Barcelona, hosted by the London Borough of Southwark and welcomed by the Mayor of Southwark (see Southwark press release).
Events and talks
- Ben Gidley contributed to a major parliamentary inquiry into antisemitism, held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. Ben was invited to give oral evidence to the inquiry, and then commissioned to write a sub-report to aid its deliberations. Ben’s sub-report focused on antisemitism in relation to protests during the conflict and was quoted extensively in the inquiry’s final report.
- Ben Gidley was invited to speak at the Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London in April; his talk was entitled “I’m not racist but some of my best friends are: Paradoxes of xenophobia and structures of disavowal”.
- In addition, Ben was invited to deliver a one-day intensive “MobilityLab” at Bilkent University in Ankara on migrant integration. The Lab series was organised by Professors Saime Ozcurumez and Can Mutlu of the Departments of Political Science and Public Administration and International Relations at Bilkent, with the support of the British embassy in Ankara.
- In May, Mette Louise Berg and Ben Gidley were invited speakers at CRASSH in Cambridge; their talk was entitled “Welfare, neighbourhood and new geographies of diversity: rethinking the ethnography of superdiversity at the margins of the city”.
- In the same month Ben hosted a study visit by Year 8 students from King Solomon High School in Ilford, as part of, “Jewish Migration Routes: From East End to Essex”, an intergenerational oral history project led by Eastside Community Heritage, funded by the Rothschild Foundation Europe. The project explores Jewish migration into and out of the East End of London and Essex.
- In October, Ben was also an invited speaker at the I International Conference on Cultural Diversity and Conflicts in the EU at the University of Valencia; his paper was entitled “Understanding conflict and conviviality in diverse European urban neighbourhoods: putting human rights and social justice back into the integration debate”.
- At the end of April, Caroline Oliver spoke at the Key Concepts Roundtables series at the Institute for Superdiversity (IRiS) at Birmingham University. She spoke on “Intersectionality and superdiversity: What’s the difference?” together with Eleonore Kofman, Middlesex University and Ann Phoenix, Institute of Education.
- Ida Persson and Vanessa Hughes participated in the Goldsmith’s Grad Fest 2015. The students from Capital City Academy who participated in the “Exploring Migration: Research and Drama in Schools” project revived their performance of “Undocumented Migrant Children’s Lives and Stories” for the festival. In June Ida and Vanessa will start work for this project with primary school students in Birmingham.