SOCIAL POLICY RESEARCH CENTRE – CELEBRATING 25 YEARS (1990 ~ 2015)

Social Policy Research Centre, at Middlesex University, is celebrating 25 years (1990-2015) at the cutting edge of researching diversity, migration  and inequalities.  To mark this occasion we are organising a one-day event on Wednesday 4th March to celebrate the work of the centre over the last quarter of a century.  We are also inviting some of the founder members to reflect on the achievements of the centre.  There will be presentations from the staff team highlighting our particular contribution to work on family migration policies, migrant children and education, engaging with diverse communities, visual mapping of changing populations, and working with ethnic minority and women’s organisations.The event will be followed by Prof Louise Ryan’s inaugural lecture on Getting worked up about Networks: how to make friends and influence people’. Buffet and drinks will be provided afterwards.

Click here to see the full programme.

The event is free but it is essential to pre-book a place.

Report launched at the House of Commons

New research launched at the House of Commons, shows a declining number of Irish people across England.

The report details the relative decline in numbers of Irish migrants coming to England since the 1990s due to the strength of the Irish economy and increased employment opportunities at home. However emigration from Ireland has started to increase since the recession and the collapse of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy. This has helped replenish an ageing population of people who identify as Irish in Britain.

Presentations at Conferences and Workshops

  • Prof Brad Blitz presented a paper entitled “The Structural Impact of Statelessness and the Road Ahead” at the Statelessness and Transcontinental Migration Conference, United Nations University, Institute on Globalisation, Culture and Migration, Barcelona, 24-25 July 2014.  More recently, Brad also presented “Correcting the Effects of Statelessness” at the Global Forum on Statelessness: New Directions in Statelessness Research and Policy. Peace Palace, The Hague, 15-17 September 2014.
  • Dr Nick Dines participated in a round table discussion on organized crime, popular classes and music at Naples University in January 2014, which has recently been published in the journal Meridiana (80, 2014).  An English summary can be found here: http://www.viella.it/toc/3385.
  • Dr Alice Donald chaired a two-day workshop for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 4-5 September, which brought together legal advisers from national parliaments across Europe in order to improve their capacity to promote human rights implementation.  On 24-25 September, Alice will act as an ad hoc expert at the Drafting Group on Reform of the Court, organised by the inter-governmental Steering Group for Human Rights (under Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe).
  • Dr Erica Howard (with Caryl Bryant) presented a paper on “The Changing Language of Hate” at the Understanding Hate Crime: Research, Policy and Practice Conference of the International Network of Hate Crime Studies in Brighton.  Additional paper presentations include: 1) “Access to Healthcare: Inequalities and Barriers: A Cross-country Comparison” at the HERON (Health Inequalities Research Network) conference in London; and 2) “The Protection of Religious Manifestations in the Public Sphere in the UK” at the Symposium on The Manifestation of Religion or Belief in the Public Sphere at the Faculty of Law at Oxford University.
  • Prof Eleonore Kofman presented a chapter on the “UK” In:  J. M. Lafleur  & M. Stanek (eds.), Old Routes, New Migrants: Lessons from the South-North Migration of EU Citizens in Times of Crisis, at the IMISCOE conference, Madrid 28-29 August. She also co-organised a session on “Configurations of Informal and Formal Social Protection: Transnationalty, Gender and Social Inequalities.”
  • Prof Eleonore Kofman has presented a number of papers on topics relating to family migration: (i) “Family Migrants and Immigration and Employment Policies” Transnational Labor Markets: Bridging Different Regulatory and Cultural Contexts, Workshop Universiteit Duisburg-Essen, 26-27 June 2014; (ii) “Regulating Family Migrations in Europe and Transnational Family Practices and Strategies,” Transnational Families: Multi-actor, Multi-sited and Institutional Perspectives, 28 June 2014, Maastricht University; (iii)  “Marriage Migration and Economic Rationality: Transposing Economic Criteria” to Family Migration and Stratified Rights, at the UACES (University Association of Contemporary European Studies), Cork, 1-3 September; (iv) Presenter and session moderator Migration and Families, International Dialogue on Migration 2014, IOM Geneva, 7-8 October 2014.  She has also presented papers on care and social reproduction (i) a plenary talk on Gendered Migrations, Care and Life Courses,  SPAnet Italia (Network for European Social Policy Analysis), Turin, 18-20  September; (i) ‘Gendered migrations and sites of social reproduction: privileging the household’  Revisioning Gender: Complex Inequalities and Gender Dimensions, Social Politics 20th anniversary conference, Stockholm, 13-14 June 2014.
  • Dr Dominic Pasura presented a paper “Religious Transnationalism and Development: A Study of Zimbabwean Churches in Britain” at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) at the Annual International Conference at Imperial College London, 26 to 29 August 2014.  In the following month, he also presented a paper “African Transnational Diasporas: Theoretical Perspectives” at the African Studies Association UK Biennial Conference, University of Sussex, 9-11 September 2014.
  • Prof Louise Ryan and Magdolna Lorinc presented several papers at the European Conference of Education Research (ECER) organised in Porto between 1 – 5 September 2014, where they participated in a symposium on the theme of education policy and Reducing Early School Leaving in different European countries – arising from the FP7 project ‘RESL.eu’ (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/projects/resl-eu/).  They also presented a paper on the challenges and opportunities of working in partnership with community organisations, arising from various research projects on supplementary schools and migrant organisations in London.  Magda also presented a paper entitled “From Aspirations to Achievement: The Concept of Aspirations in English Education Policy” at the ECER Emerging Researchers Conference.
  • Dr Elena Vacchelli gave a paper on “Embodiment in Qualitative Research: Collage Making with Refugee, Asylum Seeking and Migrant Women” at IGU International Conference, 18-23 August, Krakow, Poland.  Elena gave another paper on “Accessing Healthcare: Inequalities and Discrimination in Enfield” at the HERON (Health Inequalities Research Network) conference May 14-15, 2014, London.
  • Dr. Helena Wray  has delivered several  papers on marriage migration. The first in June 2014 was ‘What do states regulate when they regulate marriage migration?’ at ‘Travelling Policies’, an international workshop organized by the Centre for the History of Migrants (CGM) in cooperation with Amsab-ISG (Ghent), KADOC-KU Leuven, Museum aan de Stroom (Antwerp), Ghent University and Leiden University Institute for History, with financial support from the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO) and the second ’How do European legal norms shape national controls in the regulation of spousal migration?’ on a panel ‘National and European Debates on Free Movement and Immigration’ organised by Professor Jo Shaw of Edinburgh University at the UACES conference in Cork in September 2014.

Research Updates and Current Work

Follow up research on Polish migration to UK

Prof Louise Ryan, in building upon previous research with Polish migrants in London (Ryan et al., 2007; 2008; 2009), has recently conducted a number of follow-up interviews with Polish migrants, mostly professionals, who have come to Britain during the past ten years.  2014 marks the tenth anniversary of Poland’s accession in the EU, and the aim of the research is to reflect how Polish migrants have contributed to UK society, how their plans for settlement here or return to Poland have changed during that time, and how people’s sense of “Polishness” and attitudes towards Britain, EU and Poland may have changed during those years

Ongoing research on early school leaving and youth unemployment in UK

The research team (Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Neil Kaye and Magda Lorinc) will soon commence work on the next stage of the FP7 Reducing Early School Leaving Project, which will involve interviews with young people both in and out of school, and focus groups with young people and their peers, about their experiences gaining employment.  Other participants will also include parents and school staff, such as principals and head teachers.  There will also be an additional online survey of school staff and a follow-up survey of those who completed the first one.  This phase of the five-year research project will take place in London and areas around Newcastle over the next several months.

New research on whistle-blowing in the NHS

Alessio D’Angelo and Lisa Clarke are working with David Lewis on a ground-breaking piece of research on whistleblowing in the NHS.  The study is commissioned by the “Freedom to Speak Up review team,” set up earlier this summer by the Secretary of State for Health.  The research team will be undertaking a large scale, confidential survey with NHS trusts and their staff across the country and involves also trade unions, professional bodies and relevant regulators.  PhD student Dora Papadopoulou is also undertaking a thematic analysis of a large text document, the Francis Review, which is linked to the project.

Identifying social needs of emerging communities in Hounslow

We are finalising a report funded by Hounslow Borough Council, which mapped the characteristics, needs and use of services by six new and emerging nationality communities, which include Afghan, Burmese, Sri-Lankan, Algerian, Bulgarian and Romanian.  Working in partnership with key agencies, the research included interviews and focus groups with members of each group, including stakeholders, and quantitative analysis of national datasets on various socioeconomic characteristics of each group.  Staff who contributed to this report include: Alessio D’Angelo, Preeti Kathreecha, Prof Eleonore Kofman, Dr Dominc Pasura, Mike Puniskis, Magdolna Lorinc and Dr Lisa Clarke.

Research Spotlight on Recently Completed Projects

SPRC research reports to be launched at Houses of Parliament in November 2014

Recently, the SPRC research team (Alessio D’Angelo, Mike Puniskis and Neil Kaye, led by Prof Louise Ryan) completed a project which culminated in a suite of seven research reports showcasing a number of statistics on the Irish Community across Britain.  Based on an extensive analysis of 2011 Census data, each report presents an up-to-date picture of the country’s Irish population in relation to a number of social indicators, such as demographics, education, economic activity, health and housing, among others, in separate reports for England and as well as for six other regions—London, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, North East, and Yorkshire.  On 23 July 2014, the research team presented findings to key stakeholders in a conference hosted by Irish in Britain, the charity that commissioned the work through funding provided by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.  The reports will be formally launched at Houses of Parliament on 3 November 2014, and they will play a vital role in the years to come, as key resources of information for organisations and individuals working with the Irish population across the UK.

SPRC research report launched at Irish Embassy in London

On 14 May 2014, Prof Louise Ryan, with colleague Edina Kurdi, presented findings of the Irish Teachers Study in the launch of their report “Young, Highly Qualified Migrants: The Experiences and Expectations of Recently Arrived Irish Teachers in Britain.”  The study involved a number of interviews and focus groups, to examine the needs, attitudes and experiences of this group, in particular their sense of “Irishness,” connections to Ireland, and involvement in Irish networks and/or organisations in Britain.  It also focused on their cultural engagement, migration trajectories, career aspirations, family strategies and future plans for settlement or return.  A second presentation, based on this report, was given by Louise on 8 July 2014 in a symposium on Contemporary Irish Migration at the Centre for Irish Studies at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, which was co-hosted by the Social Policy Research Centre.  This was the first event of its kind to focus on recently arrived migrants from Ireland.  More information, including electronic copies of the report, is available from: http://sprc.info/irishteacherstudy/.

Important new book in press about migrant workers

Prof Louise Ryan and Alessio D’Angelo, (with Dr Umut Erel of Open University) have recently completed work on a new edited book entitled Migrant Capital: Networks, Identities and Strategies, which is currently in press to be published by Palgrave in January 2015.  International in focus and drawing on research from Australia, North America, the Caribbean and across Europe, the book presents state-of-the-art empirical, theoretical and methodological perspectives on migration, networks, social and cultural capital, exploring the ways in which these bodies of literature can inform and strengthen each other.  Through a range of case studies presented, the migrants discussed in the book are ethnically and socio-economically diverse and have a range of migratory trajectories and experiences.  Various types of networks are looked at and compared: intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic; locally-based, national and transnational; informal and formal, including migrant community organisations.  The book provides a comparative perspective in order to contribute to a broader theoretical framework rooted in empirical research on migrant workers.

Recent SPRC Events – Nov 2014

“Mixed-Method Approaches to Social Network Analysis”

On 12 May 2014, SPRC (Alessio D’Angelo and Louise Ryan) in partnership with the Social Network Analysis Group (SNAG) of the British Sociological Association, and University of Greenwich (with Dr Paola Tubaro), convened a day conference which showcased papers on innovative approaches to using social network analysis (SNA), presented by leading authorities in the UK and from across Europe.  In particular, conference papers focused on the use of qualitative methods in SNA, which have been seldom applied in this approach, although offers the potential to enrich our understanding of the content and structures of social networks.  More information, including conference programme, can be accessed here.

“Ethnic Minority and Women’s Organisations: From Survival to Thriving”

This day conference was hosted in Hendon on 13 June 2014 and saw the launch of two recently completed research reports by SPRC:  Dr Elena Vacchelli presented the report “Between Opportunities and Challenges: Women’s Community and Voluntary Organizations in London (2013)” which looked at how recent governance measures have impacted women’s organisations in London and gathered information on the specific needs of such organisation to ensure they are represented within local authorities and able to cope with reduced financial resources.  In addition, Preeti Kathreecha and Alessio D’Angelo presented their report “Evaluation and Impact of the BAN Partnership,” which explored the impact of the BAN Partnership (Black and Minority Ethnic Advice Network) on BMER communities in London and provided recommendations on how a future service would be best placed to operate.  Full reports can be accessed here.

 

PhD Studentship

As part of Middlesex University’s ongoing investment in research, the School of Law is pleased to offer a fully funded research studentship in Social Policy and Education (specifically on areas including: Education Policy, Students Engagement, Early School Leaving, Youth Unemployment, NEETs) .

The deadline for receipt of applications is 11.59pm GMT on 19th December 2014. Applications received after the deadline will not be processed.

Click for details.

Call for Papers – Workshop on Migration, Transnationalism and Catholicism

Workshop date: 25 February 2015
Place: Middlesex University, London, UK
Deadline for abstracts: 15 November 2014

This workshop will explore the various ways in which contemporary international migration and transnationalism affect Catholicism both as practices and institutionally.

Abstracts for papers on particular case-studies which illustrate dimensions of the diversity of ways in which migration and transnationalism are making their mark on Catholicism are welcome.

Please send abstracts (200 words + title), together with your name, position, institutional affiliation and discipline to Dominic Pasura and Marta Bivand Erdal by 15 November 2014.

Click here for more information on the workshop.