Category Archives: Research & Policy

The rejection of expertise damages public debate, but it also creates risks for populist governments

One common feature of populist anti-immigration movements is their eschewal of expertise. Populist movements mobilise support through claiming to articulate the interests of ‘the people’ as against established institutions and elites. They mobilise support against a discredited ruling elite and … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy, Symbolic politics | Leave a comment

Taking back control of ideas: How politicians can shape public debates on immigration

Christina Boswell and James Hampshire New proposals on how to regulate immigration after Brexit are coming thick and fast. But there’s a lot of muddled thinking from the main political parties, especially regarding how to respond to anti-immigrant sentiment amongst … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy | 1 Comment

Targets and Political Trust: Findings from our ESRC Project

In a slightly longer blog than usual, I set out the main findings from our recently completed ESRC project Targets and performance indicators have become ubiquitous as techniques of governance. Governments and public service agencies have employed an array of … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy, Targets | Leave a comment

Can debates on immigration be ‘evidence-based’? And should they be?

This blog is based on a talk given at the Royal Geography Society on 22 March 2016. We often hear the view that debates on immigration should be more ‘evidence based’: that they should be informed by expert knowledge and … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy, Targets | Leave a comment

Time for a frank debate on immigration

Here’s a link to an op ed on UK immigration policy, published in the Herald last month. It followed an event we hosted at Edinburgh University on the net migration target, analysing new data on UK net migration. The article and … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Immigration, Research & Policy | 2 Comments

Why the data doesn’t work: anti-immigrant sentiment and the economic impacts of migration

When UCL researchers released their latest findings on the fiscal impact of immigration a fortnight ago, they were portrayed in the media as somehow missing the point. It seems that data on the economic benefits of immigration can’t make a … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy, Symbolic politics | 2 Comments

Government-sponsored policy research: getting the right balance between academic quality and ‘usefulness’

I was recently reviewing a (non-UK) government-sponsored research centre, and was struck by the tension between two goals. On the one hand, the government funders were keen to ensure the centre had solid academic credentials, and was carrying out work … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy, Symbolic politics | 2 Comments