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Call for Papers: Segregation, Immigration, and Educational Inequality: A Multinational Examination of New Research

Date Published: January 25, 2013

The Civil Rights Project, University of Ghent, Université Libre de Bruxelles and the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies invite proposals for papers an upcoming conference called "Segregation, Immigration, and Educational Inequality: A Multinational Examination of New Research."
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All societies have lines of cleavage and inequality and questions about whether schools overcome those differences or merely reflect or even intensify them.  These questions are often ignored in relatively homogeneous and stable societies but become much more urgent when societies are aging and not replacing their populations, meaning they must either decline or successfully incorporate new groups who often come from different cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds.  Accelerating migration throughout the world, but especially from less developed nations to Western Europe and North America is resulting in increasingly large communities of immigrants living within the boundaries of developed nations, who with indigenous minority populations, are forming segregated communities of minorities with unequal access to educational opportunity and other societal benefits.  The failure to integrate these populations into the mainstream of the dominant society bodes poorly for the social and economic futures of these nations.  In some areas this has already become a social crisis characterized by social unrest and declining economic growth.  Scholars throughout Europe and North America have studied these problems and policy solutions proposed to address the problems, but there has been very little sharing of this research across national borders.  There have been many hundreds of studies in the U.S. on various forms of segregation and their relationships to both opportunity and outcomes in the schools as well as the effects of various forms of intervention to mitigate those inequalities.  With vast expansions of immigration in the last generation these issues have become more complex and critically important.  We believe it is past time for a fruitful exchange of data, studies and theories with roots in different countries and communities. 


The Civil Rights Project, University of Ghent, Université Libre de Bruxelles and the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies are cosponsoring a research conference next fall – September 21 and 22, 2013 -- on issues of segregation and inequality in European and North American schools, focusing on the relationship with immigration and various forms of diversity and social cleavage.  This conference aims to bring together new research addressing these themes as well as examining explicitly comparative work using the best available data.

The conference will be held at the University of Ghent in Belgium.  The first day of the conference will be open to the public and all interested scholars, as well as policy makers and community group leaders, and there will be a modest charge for attendance, probably in the area of $50 - $100 US, which will cover food, materials and related costs.

During the second day of the conference, we intend to bring the commissioned authors together with a few key experts in an intensive roundtable to critically discuss each other’s work and explore commonalities, engage in discussions with and to move well edited versions of the strongest papers into publication.  
The commissioning of papers will involve paying the registration fees, transportation (and housing costs as possible) of the authors, as well as bringing their work to publication with a broad international reach (this is a key expertise of the Civil Rights Project). Ultimately, our goal is to deepen the international discussion and help inform research and policy making within individual societies and international institutions.  The immediate goals of the conference are to identify promising scholarly enterprises, stimulate new research through the commissioning of a number of papers, introduce scholars to research that can inform their own work, and to introduce the work to a broader, international, audience. 



The Civil Rights Project, University of Ghent, Université Libre de Bruxelles and the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies invite proposals for papers on the following topics:

  • Analysis of large scale data either from surveys or administrative data sets that include existing data that can inform issues of segregation, immigration, and education, and social cleavages along racial, ethnic, social class, linguistic, religious, and national origin lines.  What is the extent of this segregation?  Is it intensifying or diminishing over time?  Which policies appear to be associated with intensification or diminishment of segregation?
  • How do various forms of segregation relate to patterns of school opportunity, school completion, academic achievement, and post-secondary access and successful completion?
  • To what extent are policies on school assignment related to social isolation and diminished opportunity?
  • Is there evidence of flight of native students from schools with growing numbers of minority students?
  • To what extent do schools incorporate assimilationist curricula, the curricula desired by various subgroups, or explicitly pluralistic or integrationist curricula?
  • Do schools emphasize language of origin learning and language maintenance among immigrant and indigenous minority students?  How are these policies related to social and educational opportunity, and isolation?
  • What are the patterns of discrimination in educational opportunity for immigrant students, its nature and consequences?
  • What are the major social and economic costs of unequal education?
  • How are teachers and school personnel prepared to address the needs of immigrant and minority students?
  • To what extent have schools with diverse enrollments achieved the conditions for positive intergroup relations spelled out by Allport, Pettigrew and other researchers?
  • Has national or international law affected policies associated with educational opportunity and immigrant and minority groups, and is there any evidence of its impact?
  • Assessment of the state of data available to research and act on these issues with conclusions on priority data needs at the national and international levels.
  • Please consider submitting proposals on other related topics.


A 3-page proposal should outline the research to be presented; the state of this research (is it completed or in process?  Has it been published in any form?); the data and methods used, and the primary or anticipated findings. A short introduction should make clear the context of the research.  

The Conference organizers will review the papers and send notice of acceptance by March 10.  A first draft of the paper will be due by August 1, and authors can expect to receive initial feedback by August 20 to help polish papers for presentation and discussion.  Revised drafts should be received by September 10, so that they can be distributed to other authors by September 15, to be read in advance of the roundtable discussion on September 22.  After the roundtable and full review of the papers, we will discuss publication plans with the authors.

Proposal Deadline: The Civil Rights Project must receive proposals by February 18, 2013.

Submit proposals or questions to:
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