Date and time
Wednesday 20 March 2013
UCL Geography (Exhibition Room, G07, the Pearson Building, Gower Street, see www.ucl.ac.uk/maps)
Transnational Soup: Translating Local Integration Policies Across Borders
Hannah Jones, Research Associate, Department of Social Policy and Criminology, The Open University
Ben Gidley, Senior Researcher, Centre on Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford
Prof Allan Cochrane, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University
This paper explores how European cities develop and innovate in policies for migrant integration, and how these policies might be researched transnationally. It is based on empirical research into the role of local and regional authorities in integration, and the importance of communication and public attitudes. Our research suggests that adoption of promising practices might be most effective when more radically adapted to suit local contexts. The paper reflects on the methodological problems of comparison and how municipalities might learn from each other despite these challenges. We relate this to broader theoretical discussions about the possibilities of comparison in urban studies, and the particular problems of methodological and conceptual nationalism. While not arguing for a return to these reductive approaches, we argue that in policy implementation as well as in theoretical work, it is necessary to recognize the complexities of local and national context when translating practice.