British academy


This autumn the British Academy's series of debates held across the UK looks at immigration, and how it affects Britain culturally, politically and economically. Watch videos of the events below, and click on the links for more information on each debate.

You can watch the Immigration Vox Pops video below.

In addition, an introductory video and a video recording of the full Debate are available for each event.

24 September 2014, Birmingham
Immigration and the Making of British Identity
What does it mean to be British? How has a British identity been constructed, historically, culturally and nationally? In what ways has Britain’s current and historic position on the international stage affected her identity? Does it matter if different communities maintain and promote their own cultural identity? And to what extent does this impact on our definition of being British?

16 October 2014, Liverpool
Immigration and the Politics of Britishness
How does Britain’s cosmopolitan make-up, with its range of communities and diverse cultural values, affect political, legal and other statutory frameworks and policies? To what extent should these different values and beliefs within Britain’s diverse population – the product of centuries of immigration – be taken into account in terms of governance? What are the fundamental principles of ‘Britishness’ and should they always be upheld?

13 November 2014, London
Immigration and the UK Economy
The economic cost and benefit of immigration to the UK is widely discussed, but what is the reality? Do workers from overseas fill skills shortages? What is the evidence of the economic impact immigration has on housing and employment as well as access to education and welfare facilities at a local level? Is the overall effect of this impact negative of positive?

British Academy Debates Immigration cover

Immigration Booklet

This booklet summarises the main themes from the immigration events and sets out some key points for those interested in exploring these challenges further.

You can download the Immigration booklet here.


British Academy Debates on Immigration British Academy blog piece by Professor Robin Cohen and Professor Ian Goldin, co-convenors of the series of British Academy Debates on Immigration, posted 23 September 2014.

Related events

19 October 2014
Whose borders are they anyway? The nation state unravelling
Panel discussion in partnership with the Battle of Ideas (venue: the Barbican)

17 November 2014
Myths of Migration: The changing population of Britain
Panel Discussion

24 November 2014
Community Languages: policy, pedagogy, public understanding
Joint AHRC / British Academy panel discussion

26 & 27 March 2015
Aliens, Foreigners and Strangers in Medieval England, c. AD 500-1500
British Academy Conference


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