Influencing Policy Frameworks on Integration and Diversity

Oxford research, based at the ESRC-funded Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), on ‘superdiversity’ and transnationalism has directly influenced the formulation and framing of UK and European policy on migration and integration. Through constant interaction with policymakers and practitioners, engaged research at COMPAS has enabled the concept of ‘superdiversity’, firsttheorised by Vertovec, to be widely utilised in the consequent formulation of new policies for migrant integration and local governance at both central and local levels. In particular, this research has influenced central government policy on integration and cohesion, and on antidiscrimination law, and local government practice. These policies now reflect new diversities of faith, gender, disability, age and sexual orientation, alongside difference in terms of ethnicity.

COMPAS’ research in this area has had a significant impact in three key areas:


  • ‘Superdiversity’: Contributing a new framework for UK migration policy
  • Changing integration policy at local and city level in the UK and Europe
  • Recognising the importance of religious faith in formulating integration and anti-discrimination policy


COMPAS has investigated, described, and disseminated research on the major changes in UK migration dynamics over the last decade. It has also revealed the policy options, trade-offs, and consequences of these new patterns through work that engaged directly with policymakers in both central and local government. In articulating the importance of new and multiple diversities that have arisen from these migration trends, the research has been significant in the national policy rethinking of ‘race relations’ institutions and multicultural policy. In signalling the importance and implications of local differences in diversity  for service delivery, research has had impact on local government and urban policy-making. Finally, in highlighting the significance of religious faith in patterns of social identity formation, research has influenced the manner in which religious faith and broader dimensions of diversity nuance the understanding of equalities policies and also the manner in which policies are put into practice.


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