CSI newsletter November 2017

Welcome to the Centre for Social Investigation eNewsletter, published 7th November 2017. You can download this newsletter as a pdf file.

New Research

Our Brexit project is well under way, with three short reports published since our last update.

The first report is a review of the evidence so far: What sort of Brexit deal does the British public want? This report was picked up in The Guardian in a piece about support for Rees-Mogg and Brexit attitudes.

The second and third reports, using our freshly collected data (via our project Partner, Kantar Public) are about two tricky issues in the negotiations: the so-called Divorce Bill and on Ending Free Movement as a priority in the negotiations.

On the Divorce Bill, we discovered that Remainers and Brexiteers are furthest apart in their views on the settlement amount when identity is strong, and are more similar to each other when identity is weaker. This may be a factor that polarizes the public debate on the issue, as prominent politicians on both sides, such as Boris Johnson and Vince Cable, will be among the stronger identifiers.

On negotiation priorities, our results suggest that Britons may actually be more willing to negotiate about ending freedom of  movement than about ending ECJ jurisdiction, ending  contributions to the EU budget, or ensuring UK citizens’ rights.

James Laurence published a paper on diversity, contact and immigration attitudes in the journal Social Science Research. The paper showed that:

Living in more diverse communities increases the frequency of positive contact between different ethnic groups but also negative contact.

While the former is positively associated with more favourable attitudes the latter is associated with more negative attitudes.

Increasing diversity may therefore lead to a polarisation in attitudes towards immigration as a result of, and not due to a lack of, inter-group contact.



We are very happy that Wouter Zwysen will be joining us at CSI for two terms from the University of Essex. He will be working on the labour market integration of migrants and ethnic minorities as part of the GEMM project. His work at CSI mainly focuses on the measurement of ethnic discrimination in the UK.



Anthony Heath was invited to Number 10 for a discussion with the PM on a new Government website on ethnicity facts and figures.

Anthony Heath and Noah Carl attended an event on October 30th organised by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to showcase ESRC funded Brexit research.

Lindsay Richards presented work on Brexit Red Lines and Compromises at the Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (EPOP) conference in Nottingham in September, also summarised in blog form here.

Anthony Heath presented on-going work on social cohesion at the department of sociology seminar. The work will be published as a chapter of CSI’s book on social progress in 2018. If you can’t wait until then, here’s an earlier blog post as a taster.



June Sarpong published her new book Diversify in October which has been flying off the shelves. The book features facts and figures on inequalities by CSI.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, chaired by Chuka Umunna, released their final report in August after contributions and evidence by CSI. Download the report.

We wrote a blog post on the Divorce Bill for UK in a Changing Europe. Read the post here.



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Best wishes

Centre for Social Investigation
Nuffield College


The Centre for Social Investigation (CSI) is based at Nuffield College, Oxford University. The Centre aims to address contemporary social issues of public interest, carrying out authoritative research on central social issues which draws upon interdisciplinary expertise in economics, politics and sociology, and related disciplines. The Centre’s research is independent and non-partisan; as such, it has no political affiliation or leaning.