Project events, publications, and presentations


  • David Bartram (2018) “The UK Citizenship Process: Political Integration or Marginalization?” Sociology (link)
  • Akwugo Emejulu and Leah Bassel (2018) 'Austerity and the politics of becoming', JCMS Annual Reviews (link)
  • Leah Bassel, Pierre Monforte & Kamran Khan (2018) 'Making political citizens? Migrants’ narratives of naturalization in the United Kingdom', Citizenship Studies, 22:3, 225-242 (link)
  • David Bartram (2018) 'Life Satisfaction and the UK Citizenship Process: Do Tests and Ceremonies Enhance Immigrants’ Lives?', International Migration (link).
  • Monforte, P., Bassel, L. and Khan, K. (2018) ‘Deserving Citizenship? Exploring Migrants’ Experiences of the “Citizenship Test” Process in the United Kingdom’, The British Journal of Sociology (link).
  • The Casey Review on opportunity and integration: re-inventing the wheel, in Discover Society, by Leah Bassel, 9 December 2016 (link)


Public engagement

  • Bassel, Monforte, Bartram, Khan and Misztal’s final project report ‘The UK Citizenship Test Process’ from their ESRC-funded project was published as evidence by the House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement (refs: CCE0145; CCE0262)
  • The final Select Committee report referred to our work: link


Conference presentations

  • International Sociological Association, July 2018, Toronto

Presentation by David Bartram: 'The UK Citizenship Process: Integration or Marginalization?'

  • American Sociological Association, August 2017, Montreal

Presentation by David Bartram: 'Happiness and Status Inequalities: Investigating the UK Citizenship Process’ (Invited paper for Thematic session on Happiness and Inequality)

Presentation by Leah Bassel, Pierre Monforte, and Kamran Khan: 'Making political citizens? Migrants' Narratives of Naturalisation in the United Kingdom'

  • European Studies Conference, July 2017

Panel title: 'Becoming and belonging: Naturalization in comparative perspective', organized by Leah Bassel and Pierre Monforte

Presenters: Jessica Lisa Merolli, Queen's University, Canada; Ines Michalowski, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany; Semin Suvarierol, Independent Researcher, the Netherlands; Dora Kostakopoulou, University of Warwick, UK; panel chair Anna Korteweg, University of Toronto, Canada; panel discussant, Virgiinie Guiraudon, Sciences Po Paris, France

  • IMISCOE, June 2017, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Presentation by Leah Bassel: 'Gender and the Politics of Naturalisation: Women’s Experiences of the UK Citizenship Test Process'

Presentation by David Bartram: 'Citizenship tests and political participation in the UK: integration or marginalization?'

  • Political Studies Association, April 2017, Glasgow

Presentation by Pierre Monforte and Leah Bassel: 'Brexit and belonging: experiences of naturalisation and the UK referendum'

  • British Sociological Association, April 2017, University of Manchester

Presentation by Leah Bassel: 'Austere Citizens: Women in the UK Citizenship Test Process'

  • Conference on The legacy of Brexit: mobility and citizenship in times of uncertainty, University of Southampton, 31 March 2017

Presentation by Pierre Monforte and Leah Bassel: "‘Brexit’ and belonging: experiences of naturalisation and the UK referendum"

  • University of Lancaster, Department of Linguistics, 19 October 2016

Presentation by Kamran Khan: "(In)security and languages in the UK"

  • International Political Science Association, Poznan, 23-28 July 2016

Presentation by Pierre Monforte: "Deserving Citizenship? Exploring Migrants' Experiences of the 'Citizenship Test' Process in the United Kingdom"

  • Derrida Today Conference - Panel on Language and Tests: Terror, at Goldsmiths University, June 8-11 2016

Presentation by Kamran Khan: "Language for citizenship: judgement after the test"

  • New plurilingual pathways for integration: Immigrants and language learning in the 21st Century, at Edinburgh Watt University, 27 May 2016. Organised as part of a BAAL (British Association of Applied Linguistics) and COST New Speakers network

Presentation by Kamran Khan: "Citizenship test preparation and the responsibilization of learning"

  • British Sociological Association, April 2016 (Aston University, Birmingham)
    Panel title: Experiencing Citizenship Tests: views ‘from below’, organised by: Leah Bassel
    Presenters: Bridget Byrne, University of Manchester; Anne-Marie Fortier, University of Lancaster; Leah Bassel, Kamran Khan, Pierre Monforte, University of Leicester
    Discussant: Bridget Anderson, University of Oxford
    Paper presented: "Deserving citizenship? Exploring migrants' experiences of the 'citizenship test' process in the United Kingdom" (link to abstract)

Stakeholder workshops (September 2016):

The project held Stakeholder Workshops in Leicester (hosted by The Race Equality Centre) and London (hosted by CARIS Harringey) in September. These were very well-attended and lively events where project findings were shared with audiences which included: local councillors, migrant rights advocates, service providers, migrants experiencing the citizenship test process, officials directly involved in citizenship ceremonies, Greater London Authority representatives and Leicester civil servants. Following on from these workshops the project team has been invited to further present their work at the AGM of CARIS Harringey, a key London-based organisation that has helped facilitate our project, as well as Leicester College and, in future, to Harringey-based London Labour councilors. Thanks to excellent assistance from the notetakers – Nerina Boursinou, Mirjam Twigt, Brogan Taylor and Tarine Felix.

The powerpoint slides (pdf) from the events are available here.


  • Project interim report:

Interim report cover



    Professor Sir Bob Burgess: "How Immigration Affects Us All", in the Leicester Mercury:

Questions about migration, identity and community cohesion are very much in the political spectrum and reflect the focus of some research activities in the University of Leicester. Many people will have seen the fascinating 100 Stories of Migration exhibition in our School of Museum Studies that charts people's journeys to Britain and, in doing so, challenges our perceptions.

A further installation of part of this exhibition was also on display at Leicester's railway station recently. The photographic exhibition and accompanying media explore ways in which migration affects us all. It is worth a visit.

Elsewhere in the university, such as in our Department of Sociology, researchers are undertaking projects that engage with local communities on crucial political issues.

Sociologists Leah Bassel, David Bartram, Barbara Misztal, Pierre Monforte and Kamran Khan are conducting a three-year research project on a topic central to policy debates on immigration, integration policies and community cohesion. This study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, investigates how the new requirements to access citizenship and permanent residence have influenced the integration of immigrants in the last decade.

Through a focus on the "Life in the UK" test (since its introduction in 2005), this project investigates immigrants' "lived experience" of British citizenship. The researchers work in close cooperation with local communities in Leicester and in London. They interview people who are taking the preparation courses designed to help them pass the tests, and they talk to them about their participation in the Life in the UK test and citizenship ceremonies.

They interview organisations supporting immigrants and council officials involved in the process. The goal is 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 will contribute to an evidence base regarding the test-taking process that could prove influential in shaping how local organisations prepare people to take the test, and contribute to policy debates surrounding the value of the test and its role as a means of integration.

The researchers expect this study will have key implications for policy and practice: it will demonstrate the diverse needs of individuals and groups in accessing the Life in the UK test, will help providers' and organisers' understandings of migrants' experiences, and provide examples of good practice in supporting learners, as well as highlighting the long-term outcomes of this process.

This project, like so many in the University, will contribute to debates on the effectiveness of public services and policy, in this case in the area of integration and social cohesion.

Professor Sir Bob Burgess was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester

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