Endeavour Award winner studies the politics of immigration

3 April 2012

Canadian researcher Stephen Larin will conduct a six-month study into immigration policies in Australia and Canada after winning an Endeavour Research Fellowship to work at the University of Sydney.

Stephen, a PhD candidate at Queen's University, will arrive at Sydney in November to work in the University's School of Social and Political Sciences under the supervision of Professor Stephen Castles.

He is one of four Endeavour Award winners who will be carrying out research at Sydney in 2012. The awards scheme is the Australian Government's internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing study, research or professional development opportunities between Australia and the rest of the world.

Stephen's research will examine how the worldwide backlash against multiculturalism and immigrants who "fail to integrate" has given rise to flawed immigration policies based on civic nationalism.

"One of the outcomes of this backlash has been a hard push for civic integration, a policy based on the ideology of civic nationalism," explains Stephen. "This presumes that the most important mechanism of immigrant integration is the inculcation of respect for the principles of liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law among newcomers.

"These are indeed important values for participation in a liberal-democracy, but as I intend to demonstrate, the civic nationalist conception of integration is fundamentally inadequate and cannot address the serious challenges that countries of immigration now face.

"Nationalist ideology is important, and is often reflected in citizenship policy, national symbols, and participant self-understandings, but the real basis of nationhood is the systemic, overlapping relationships that underlie that participation."

Stephen has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Philosophy from McGill University, a master's in Political Studies from Queens University, and has worked as a university instructor and researcher. He was also involved with the Ethnicity and Democratic Governance project, an international, five-year research initiative funded by the Canadian government.

Applications for this year's awards opened on 1 April and close on 30 June.

Visit the Endeavour Awards website for more information.

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

Email: 3951193234114b78231f0a355a293f2b2e1854164054332f162e27