Research Project: The UK Citizenship Process

UK Citizenship Project

The UK Citizenship Process: Exploring Immigrants' Experiences -- an ESRC-funded research project (ES/K010174/1) conducted by Leah Bassel (PI), David Bartram, Barbara Misztal, and Pierre Monforte

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This project analyses the ‘assimilationist turn’ in British immigration and integration policies, through a focus on immigrants’ lived experience of one of its principal instruments, the ‘citizenship process’. Studies to date have examined only one or two parts of the ‘citizenship process’, by which we refer to the tests themselves, the citizenship ceremonies, the preparation courses many immigrants take beforehand, as well as the consequences of the tests for those to whom it is addressed.

We adopt a more comprehensive approach to these issues, examining the lived experiences of the citizenship process as a whole via interviews with people about their experiences with preparation courses and their participation in the citizenship tests and ceremonies in Leicester and London. To analyse the effects of the process on the longer term, we will also undertake statistical analysis of survey data. The overall goals are to learn about immigrants' perceptions and experiences of this process and to understand how it affects their sense of belonging, political participation and subjective well-being (happiness).

The project is conducted by Leah Bassel (PI), David BartramBarbara Misztal and Pierre Monforte.  Research assistance is provided by Kamran Khan.  The project ran from September 2013 to August 2017; funding provided by the Economic and Social Research Council totals £351,276, towards a total project cost of £431,095.

Work from the project has been featured in a wide range of academic and public events and is also cited in the report of a House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement (link).




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