Photo of Ralph GrilloRalph Grillo
Emeritus Professor


Ralph Grillo is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex where he was formerly Dean of the School of African and Asian Studies and founding director of the Research Centre for Culture, Development and the Environment. Although he has also written on the anthropology of development and the anthropology of language, he has had a long-standing concern with transnational migration and ethnicity in Africa and Europe (African Railwaymen: Solidarity and Opposition in an African Labour Force, Cambridge 1973; Ideologies and Institutions in Urban France: The Representation of Immigrants, Cambridge 19850, and co-edited special issues of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies on Transnational Islam, 2004, and Africa<>Europe, A Double Engagement, 2008. Since the mid-1990s he has focused on cultural diversity and its governance in France, Italy, and the UK (Pluralism and the Politics of Difference: State, Culture, and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective, Oxford 1998; The Politics of Recognizing Difference: Multiculturalism Italian Style, co-editor, Ashgate 2002; The Family in Question: Immigrant and Ethnic Minorities in Multicultural Europe, editor, Amsterdam 2008).

Since 2007 he has been working with anthropologists, lawyers and political scientists on issues relating to cultural and religious diversity and the law in Europe and North America (Legal Practice and Cultural Diversity, co-editor, Ashgate 2009; co-editor with Marcel Maussen of Special Issue of Journal of Ethnic and Migrations Studies (40, 2). on The Regulation of Speech in Multicultural Societies). He has a particular interest in the ‘legal industry’ which has grown up around Islam, discussed in Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain (Ashgate, 2015).

Through the Sussex Centre of Migration Research was actively involved in the European ‘network of excellence’, IMISCOE, and has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at Göttingen, and of the Advisory Board of GENESO (Generational negotiations, social control and gendered sexuality), University of Helsinki. Currently is a member of the advisory board of the ERC-funded project 'Cultural Expertise in Europe: What is it useful for?', directed by Dr. Lvia Holden,

In 2016 he was awarded the Lucy Mair Marsh Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, London.

Recent Publications

Grillo, R. (2018a), Interculturalism and the Politics of Dialogue. Lewes: B and RG Books of Lewes.

Grillo, R. (2018b), ‘British Multiculturalism: From ‘Parekh’ to ‘PREVENT’, and Beyond’, in K. Alidadi & M.-C. Foblets (eds.) Public Commissions on Cultural and Religious Diversity: National Narratives, Multiple Identities and Minorities,86-110London: Routledge.

Grillo, R. (2018c), ‘Comment on the Report of the Siddiqui Review Panel, 2018’, Journal of Muslims in Europe 7 283-308.

Grillo, R. (2018d), Transnational Migration and Multiculturalism: Living With Difference in a Globalised World. Lewes: B and RG Books of Lewes

Grillo, R. (2016a), ‘Anthropologists Engaged with the Law (and Lawyers)’, Antropologia Pubblica 2 (2): 3-24.

Grillo, R.D. (2016b), ‘A Year of Living Interculturally: The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, 2008’.  Available at:

Grillo, R.D. (2016c), ‘But What IS Interculturalism?’.  Available at:,

Grillo, R.D. (2016d), ‘Commissions, Inquiries, Reports, Consultations and Other Interventions on Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Britain, c. 1900-end 2016’. Available at <>,

Grillo, R. (2015a), Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain. Farnham: Ashgate.

Grillo, R. (2015b), ‘Negotiating the Crisis of Difference: Keynote Lecture’’. Paper Presented to the Conference ‘International Colloquium on Social Change in Globalized Societies’, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium, March 30th-1st April, 2015.

Grillo, R.D. (2015c), Living with Difference, Essays on Transnationalism and Multiculturalism. Amazon Kindle: B & RG Books of Lewes. Contents

Grillo, R.D. (2015d), ‘Reflections on Super-Diversity by an Urban Anthropologist, or “Superdiversity So What?”‘.  Available at:

Grillo, R.D. (2014), ‘Multiethnic Societies’, in M. Sasaki, J. Goldstone & E. Zimmermann (eds.) Concise Encyclopedia of Comparative Sociology,144-153Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Maussen, M. & R.D. Grillo (eds.) (2014), The Regulation of Speech in Multicultural Societies, Special Issue of Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (40, 2)

Grillo, R. & P. Shah (2013), ‘The Anti-burqa Movement in Western Europe’, in A. Ferrari & S. Pastorelli (eds.) The Burqa Affair Across Europe: Between Public and Private Space,197-224Farnham: Ashgate.

Doctoral Students

Ralph Grillo no longer supervises research students. His last three students were:

Nabi Misdaq - Political frailty, national integration and external interference: causes and consequences of the communist coup and the Soviet invasion of Afghanista  (awarded 2003)
Bruno Riccio - Senegalese transmigrants and the construction of immigration in Emilia-Romagna, Italy (awarded 2000)
Ruba Salih - Transnational lives, plurinational subjects : identity, migration and difference among Moroccan women in Italy (awarded 2000)