CSI Newsletter October 2018




23rd October 2018


Welcome to the Centre for Social Investigation eNewsletter which you can also download as a pdf.


CSI’s book published with OUP: Social Progress in Britain


Our New book published on 27th September, sets out how much progress Britain has made since 1942. In 1942, Sir William Beveridge talked about the ‘five giants on the road to reconstruction’ – Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness.

The book examines how far Britain has actually come in tackling these five areas, and also adds two new ‘giants’ to Beveridge’s original list – Unfairness and Discord.

It also asks how progress in Britain compares with that of peer countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the USA. As the book shows, we have made great strides in some areas, but for others, progress is surprisingly small. In some areas, it is even possible that we have regressed.

The book’s endorsements and a 30% discount code can be seen here.



Other new Research

With colleagues from the University of Manchester, we have published new research on Muslim Poverty: “Trapped in Poverty? A Study of Transient and Persisting Factors for Muslim Disadvantages in the UK”

We find a marked incidence of poverty among Muslims, a stronger religious than ethnic association with poverty, and a salient intergenerational improvement in Muslim vulnerability to poverty.

The article explores potential factors affecting the life-chances of British Muslims today by exploring the role of religion, poverty, and social capital.

This research was covered in an earlier blog post on the CSI website.


We have two new articles on the topic of ethnic diversity, ethnic threat, segregation and social cohesion.

The first paper uses cross-sectional and longitudinal data of white British individuals across England and Oldham (a unique English town case-study) and shows neighbour-trust to be lower in diverse communities. However, the paper demonstrates that perceived-threat emerges from societal processes (such as socio-economic precariousness) and it is when individuals who already view out-groups as threatening experience diverse neighbourhoods that local cohesion declines.

The second examines the role of segregation in the relationship between out-group size and prejudice. The findings suggest that levels of contact or perceived threat will depend on how segregated groups are from one another. This, in turn, will determine when high minority share communities have positive, negative, or null effects on inter-group attitudes.


We have also published a new article “Preference for realistic art predicts support for Brexit”.

In response to evidence that Remain and Leave supporters differ not only in their attitudes to immigration and demographic characteristics but also in terms of personality, attitudes and preference for different consumer brands, we explored whether the two groups would also display divergent artistic preferences. Using data from the Brexit project, we measured preferences for realistic art by presenting survey respondents with four pairs of paintings – each comprising one realistic and one abstract painting – and asking them which they preferred. Controlling for a range of personal characteristics, we found that respondents who consistently preferred realistic paintings were 15–20 percentage points more likely to support Leave than those who preferred abstract paintings. The work was reported in The Guardian.



We have also published a short briefing note “What distinguishes Re-Leavers from Firm Remainers?”

‘Re-Leavers’ is a term to describe individuals who had voted Remain but who now believe that the referendum result should be implemented. These research notes asked: what type of people are Re-Leavers?

We found firstly that older people are less likely to be Re-Leavers than younger people. Second, Conservative supporters are more likely to be Re-Leavers than Labour supporters. Third, individuals who identify as European are less likely to be Re-Leavers than those who identify as British. Fourth, individuals who say things have gotten better over the last decade are more likely to be Re-Leavers than those who say things have gotten worse.



We presented two papers at the EPOP conference at Royal Holloway University in September. We have written a blog post to accompany one of the papers: “What is it about Englishness that connects one’s feeling of belonging to the nation to preferences for Brexit?”



Elisabeth Garratt submitted evidence to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights ahead of his visit to the UK in November. Her submission can be viewed here.