Sussex Centre for Migration Research

Integration and Citizenship

The research on Integration and Citizenship conducted at the SCMR looks at the potentials for engagement of minorities and migrants across Europe, with a particular focus on refugees’ integration in British society.

Ongoing Research Projects on Integration and Citizenship

Experiences of Migration and Settlement of Queer migrants (TransInt)

Studies of queer migrants’ experiences of settlement and engagement with their societies of settlement, while confronted by racist, sexist and trans- homophobic prejudice, are still relatively rare, although there is some research on the specific context of SOGI asylum claimants. We know relatively little about how these people try to build a life that provides sufficient recognition for their respective gender or sexual identities, although trans* rights are a highly controversial issue in the UK.   

TransInt aims to fill a knowledge gap about queer migrants’ experiences and strategies in their efforts to make a ‘sustainable nonheteronormative life’ (see Statham and Scuzzarello 2021) post-migration. The explorative study, which looks across a range of migrant categories to assess the feasibility of a larger study, asks: How do gender, race and migration status intersect in shaping the experiences of migration and settlement of queer migrants in the UK, and Brighton in particular? 

Brighton, known as the best “rainbow” city in the UK, could provide opportunities for a queer person to make a living, belong to a community, and “fit in” as it offers a social environment that recognises queer scenes. TransInt teases out the degree to which living in a “rainbow” city enables individuals who are not only socially marginalised because of their gender identity and sexual expression, but who also face legal/bureaucratic marginalisation as migrants, to live a ‘sustainable nonheteronormative life’.

The pilot project is funded by the School of Global Studies and the Department of Geography.

SCMR researcher Dr Sarah Scuzzarello is the lead investigator.

Common European Asylum System EVALuation (CeasEVAL)

Since 2015, migration to and within Europe has challenged the adequacy of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). This has affected the implementation of both the CEAS and national asylum systems and called further harmonisation into question. Harmonisation is not a fixed term but incorporates varied meanings and practices. In legal terms, harmonisation has been explained as an approximation process towards minimum standards. In political terms, harmonisation focuses on policy convergence, of which legal harmonisation is only one of many mechanisms of convergence. CEASEVAL will determine what kind of harmonisation and solidarity is possible and necessary.

CEASEVAL aims to:

  • Carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the CEAS
  • Analyse harmonisation going beyond formal institutions
  • Consider actors engaged at local, national and European levels
  • Explain the success and failure of coordinated action between these varied actors

CEASEVAL has four objectives:

  • Combine multiple disciplines in order to explore different perspectives of the CEAS
  • Develop and test a new theoretical framework of multilevel governance of the CEAS
  • Provide a critical evaluation of the CEAS by identifying and analysing discrepancies in the transposition and incorporation of European standards in the area of asylum in domestic legislation as well as differences in their implementation
  • Elaborate new policies by considering different alternatives of implementing a common European asylum system

The project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020. for more info, please see 

SCMR Researchers involved are: 

Prof Michael Collyer (Geography)

Dr James Hampshire

Dr Erica Consterdine


Optimizing Refugee Resettlement in the UK: a Comparative Analysis

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council

The project began on September 1st 2013 and will run to the end of March 2016. It is a multidisciplinary and multi-methods research project that will develop existing approaches to the integration of refugees through a longitudinal comparative study of resettled refugees in three different UK locations (Brighton, Greater Manchester and Norwich).

SCMR Researchers involved are:

Prof Michael Collyer (Geography) (Principal Investigator)
Prof Rupert Brown (Psychology)
Dr Linda Morrice (Education)
Dr Linda Tip (Geography)

Background information about Optimizing Refugee Resettlement

Cultural Values from the Subaltern Perspective: a Phenomenology of Refugees' Experience of British Culture

Funded by the AHRC, this research project runs from November 2013 – May 2014. The project
explores understandings of 'Britishness' and 'British' identities and culture in the context of growing critiques of multiculturalism and a shift towards more assimilationist Government policies. Two over-riding questions frame the research:

  1. How are British cultural values perceived, negotiated, consumed, enacted and performed by socially excluded or subaltern groups? How can cultural values and a sense of belonging work together to produce citizens (or non-citizens), in dominant and subaltern ways?
  2. How do we study the experience of arts and culture? Given that values are always contextualised and temporalised, what can we say about the phenomenological moment of arts/cultural experience? How do participants become mobilised and affected?

SCMR Researcher Linda Morrice is the project’s co-investigator.
Sussex colleague Professor Sally Munt is the PrincipaI Investigator.

More information


Funded with support from the European Commission, and running from 2013-2017, INTEGRIM (Integration and international migration: pathways and integration policies) is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN). INTEGRIM aims to establish at the eight partner institutions a multi-site network of early stage researchers --predominantly PhD students-- who are pursuing a multidisciplinary research career on International Migration and Integration within the European context.

The network will apply a qualification framework with a compatible set of qualifications/knowledge/skills across the national systems for graduates of the INTEGRIM programme. In addition, the INTEGRIM research training programme will address the integration challenges posed by migration flows to policy makers, civil society and industrial partners in Europe.

The Work Package on 'Social and Labour Integration' is coordinated from Sussex by Dr Michael Collyer. Our first PhD fellow on this is Reinhard Schweitzer, who started his PhD in September 2013.

For more information, please visit the INTEGRIM webpage.


Completed Research Projects on Integration and Citizenship

Twelve Years of Asylum

Funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded in 2013, this 18-month project is a collaboration between the Black Cultural Archives and the Zimbabwe Association. The project will create an archive of twelve years of asylum lobbying in the UK: the deposit will include the institutional records of a community-based asylum seeker organisation, Photovoice oral histories with asylum-seekers, an exhibition at BCA and schools packs.

SCMR Researcher Prof JoAnn McGregor was advisor to this project.

Places for All? A Multimedia Investigation of Citizenship, Work and Belonging in a Fast-Changing Provincial City

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this project ran from 2011-2013. The project, focused on the city of Peterborough, explored the multiple and diverse place attachments and work and migration histories of people of all ethnic backgrounds, from people born in the city to those who arrived very recently.

Oral history and residential fieldwork were at the heart of the research, which drew on the stories of over one hundred people through words, photographs, film and theatre.

The project team was led by SCMR researcher Prof. Ben Rogaly.

For more information, please visit Places for All? website

Home and Away: South Asian Children Representation of Diaspora

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Diaspora, Migration and Identities programme, this research project ran from 2006 to 2010. It explored how South Asian children in East London (aged 8-13 years old) experienced and represented 'transnational lives', whether this involved travel to 'the homeland' while living in London, or being part of families and communities in which people constantly move.

SCMR Researchers were
Prof Katy Gardner (now at LSE)
Dr Kanwal Mand (now at University of Brighton)
and Dr Benjamin Zeitlyn as a doctoral student.

Read more on Home and Away

Everyday life in Communist Albania: Work, Family, Gender, Leisure

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this project ran from  October 2010 – March 2014.

This research project focused on memories of everyday life in Albania during the communist era.
The  SCMR Researchers involved were Prof. Russell King as Principal Investigator and Dr. Julie Vullnetari, Research Fellow.