SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Governing by Numbers: The Role of Quantification and Targets in UK Debates on Immigration

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Prof Christina Boswell (University of Edinburgh)

Date: 18 February 2015Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 18 February 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

Over the past 15 years, consecutive UK governments have sought to measure and signal policy performance on immigration through the use of targets: first in the form of Labour’s targets on asylum and removals, and more recently through the net migration target. How do these forms of measurement affect political deliberation on immigration and asylum issues? A growing sociological literature describes how such forms of quantification compress and abstract from complexity, codify and lend authority to simplified categorisations, and encourage binary coding in terms of relevant/irrelevant, or even good/bad classifications. In this talk, Christina Boswell explores how far we can identify these types of effects in UK public debates on immigration. In particular, she looks at the impact of the net migration target on political deliberation, through analysis of mass media coverage and parliamentary debate.

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Prof Christina Boswell Governing by Numbers: The Role of Quantification and Targets in UK Debates on Immigration

 

About the Speaker

Christina Boswell is Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh, and co-director of the Centre for Science, Knowledge and Policy. Her research focuses on the relationship between knowledge and policy, especially in the area of UK and European immigration policy.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Contact email: cb92@soas.ac.uk