London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

ISET is an interdisciplinary team researching social, economic, cultural and political transformations in contemporary Europe.



Following the reorganisation of research within the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) and the creation of FAIR, the Faculty Advanced Institute of Research, from 1 August 2013 ISET researchers will be working at the Working Lives Research Institute within FAIR. There will be no change to their email addresses.

The details of their future research will be available on their FSSH webpages:

This webpage will remain for future reference but will no longer be updated. 
Please contact Damhnait Ganly for any further information about ISET and to access the Irish Archive, which remains active (

  • The Irish Writers in London Summer School 2013 will take place this year 13 June - 19 July.  More information here

  • Monica Threlfall was a guest speaker at a Labour Movement for Europe and Fabian Women's Network event to welcome Zita Gurmai MEP, President of the Women's Section of the Party of European Socialists (PES), and a former President of the Hungarian Socialist Party, during her visit to London. The theme of the 31st May meeting was Women and Austerity.  
    Ms Gurmai emphasised how women were bearing the brunt of the crisis and recession in the EU, while Dr Threlfall highlighted some of the UK aspects, such as UNDERemployment, low pay and lack of affordable childcare.
  • Professor Lyn Thomas will be speaking on Working-class Whiteness at a seminar on A Phenomenology of Working Class Experience: Choices, Practices and Identities organised by Brunel University.  The seminar will take place at:

    Goodenough College,
    Mecklenburgh Square,
    London WC1N 2AB
    on Wednesday 20 March 2013 at 11.15am.

    Other speakers include Dr Natasha Slutskaya, Prof Ruth Simpson and Dr Darren Thiel. This event is free but please register in advance by contacting

  • On 7 February 2013 Dr Nick Mai was interviewed on 'The Nolan Show' (BBC NI) on the proposed criminalisation of the clients of sex workers in Northern Ireland (13min40sec)

  • After two sold out screenings at the 2012 Raindance International Film Festival in London Dr Nick Mai's film 'NORMAL - real stories from the sex industry' goes on a UK tour!

    Date: 21 February 2013
    Time: 7pm
    Place: Magdalen Auditorium, Magdalen College, Oxford OX1 4AU
    (the Auditorium’s entrance is in Longwall Street). 
    Date: 24 February 2013
    Time: 6:30pm
    Place: Cube Cinema, 4 Princess Row ?Kingsdown ?Bristol ?BS2 8NQ?UK
    Date: 21 March 2013
    Time: 6pm
    Place: Room LG01, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NWOxfordDate: 21 February 2013
    Oxford - 21 February 2013
    Bristol - 24 February 2013
    London- 21 March 2013

    Find out more here.
  • The Brunel Gender and Sexuality Research Centre and
    The Centre for Youth Work Studies present

    Working Class Whiteness from Within and Without

    Professor Lyn Thomas

    Tuesday 15 January, 4.30pm
    Mary Seacole Building, Room 114
    Brunel University


  • We are pleased to announce the publication of

    London Irish Fictions
    Narrative, Diaspora and Identity

    Tony Murray

    Book Launch 15 November, 6.30-8.30

    Register in advance at
  • Irish Writers in London Summer School 14 June - 20 July 2012
    First established in 1996, the summer school runs for two nights a week for five weeks and provides an informal but informativesetting for students wishing to study Irish literature over the summer.  Each week a set text is discussed in class on Tuesday evening and the following Thursday the author reads and/or speaks about it to students.
    More information here
  • Monica Threlfall was invited to speak about the societal and cross-border social integration of EU member states at the University of Pretoria, SA ,  Presentation , as part of an academic-practioner dialogue on "Regional Governance of Migration and Social Policy: Comparing European and African Regional Integration Policies and Practices" (funded by DG Education and Culture of the EU and other bodies). The workshops addressed issues of particular concern to the government of South Africa given new pressures from migration and cross-border movements - as these have not yet been well-regulated or theorised in the 'African EUs' of West, Central, East, and Southern Africa



    Apartheid Museum:
    photo of
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu
    voting in 1994,
    watched by Ben Okri


  • Irish in Britain Seminar Series 2012
    Irish migration to Britain has increased significantly in the last three years.  The way in which this and the experiences of previous generations of Irish migrants have been reflected and mediated through literature and culture is a growing dimension of Irish Studies.  This year's seminar series aims to examine the way in which writers, film-makers and bloggers have negotiated the complex diasporic networks and identities that have characterized Irish migration to Britain since the Second World War.
    More information here
  • We are pleased to announce the publication of 

    Migration and Social Cohesion in the UK

    Professor Mary J Hickman, Dr Nicola Mai
    and Dr Helen Crowley
    Palgrave 2012

    Book Launch Wednesday 13 June, 6.30
    at London Metropolitan University.

    More information to follow


  • Emeritus Professor Kate Soper has been invited to give a Keynote lecture, for International conference, organised by the ‘Consensus’ research project on sustainable consumption, National University of Ireland, Galway, 17th-19th May 2012
  • Inaugural Lecture, Professor Lyn Thomas

    Lyn Thomas

    On 7 March 2012, Professor Lyn Thomas gave her inaugural lecture on 'Working-class whiteness from within and without: an auto-ethnographic response to Avtar Brah's "The Scent of memory"'. The lecture was based on an article Lyn wrote for the 100th anniversary issue of Feminist Review (for details of the anniversary party on 27 April, see

    Lyn was a member of the FR editorial Collective from 1998-2011, and the piece reflects her  thinking in dialogue with the Collective over this period, as well as her work with ISET colleagues and her research on the French writer Annie Ernaux. An appreciative audience of over 100, including academics from other UK universities, past and present students, colleagues and friends, attended the lecture which was introduced by the VC and the Dean of FSSH, John Gabriel. The VC announced that Lyn would be awarded an Emeritus Professorship. She will take up this honorary position when she leaves the University on 25th May 2012, after 23 years' service. The lecture was followed by a drinks reception, made possible by the generous support of FSSH, and the event was organised by Damhnait Rumney and Madeleine Kingston of ISET.

    You can listen to the lecture on the Feminist Review publisher Palgrave Macmillan's youtube site here:

  • ISET European Interdisciplinary Seminar Series, Spring 2012
    Queering Migrations: orientations, rights and sexualities in motion
    Friday 24 February 2012, 2-6pm, T1-20, Tower Building
    Nick Mai
    more information here
  • Early Language Learning in Europe. London, UK: British Council
    Professor Janet Enever (2011) (ed)
    E-book freely downloadable at:

  • The Visiting Student Research Scheme
    From January 2012, London Met will be registering students on a Visiting Research Student Scheme for doctoral students registered at a University outside the UK.  Such students can spend a period of 1-12 months at LondonMet undertaking further research that will enhance, complement or provide comparisons for their doctoral work at their home university.

    The scheme is popular with postgraduate research students from outside the UK, who find the experience of pursuing doctoral work in two different environments both stimulating and productive of useful insights into their research.

    Prospective Visiting Research Students should first identify a research team or member of the academic staff with research interests in their field, who could advise them.  Then they should contact the selected specialist directly to express their interest in the Scheme and find out whether s/he is able to advise them, and for what period of time.  Approximate dates of your proposed stay should be agreed before you make the application to the University.

    Fees: Tuition fees are payable by all research students on the Visiting Research Student Scheme, and are charged on a pro-rata basis, as a proportion of the set fee for full-time doctoral degrees at London Metropolitan University, depending on whether you qualify as an EU or an International student, and the length of your stay.  In 2011-12 this would be a proportion of £5,670 and of £11,340, respectively.

  • ISET was proud to host the awarding of the first Peter Gowan Prize for an MA International Relations dissertation to Roberto Orsi on Wednesday 7 December 2011  at London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB

    Peter Gowan Award
    Roberto Orsi gave a talk on: 'Habermas, the European Union and the Future of European Integration’      For more information about this seminar click here

  • On 1 December 2011 Monica Threlfall was a guest at a meeting of feminists, along with Baroness Ruth Lister, Fiona Mactaggart MP and Kate Green MP and others, convened on 1 December 2011 by the Institute of Public Policy Research, the Fabian Women's Network and Cambridge Centre for Women's Studies to discuss Gender justice, society and the state. Prof. Anne Phillips and the writers Bea Campbell and Hilary Wainwright considered the limits of the state for advancing gender justice. Had the labour government Labour been unwilling to use the state enough, or had the state's own limitations been reached? This was followed by Prof Jonathan Rutherford, Dr Clare Chambers and writer Rahila Gupta (author of Enslaved: The New British Slavery) presenting their views on how neoliberalism deals with gender.
    The meeting was part of a rethink of feminism taking place at IPPR. Dr Threlfall's contributions spawned the article Feminism and 'the State': a love-hate relationship? forthcoming in the Fabian Women's Network magazine Fabiana.
  • Emeritus Professor Kate Soper gave a Keynote Lecture and seminar on 5-7 November 2011 at International conference on Sustainable Consumption, Universities of Hamburg and Bern, in Hamburg (part of the ongoing German Federal Ministry funded conference ‘From Knowledge to Action:  New Paths to Sustainable Consumption’)
  • Dr Tony Murray, Deputy Director Irish Studies Centre, appeared on the BBC 2 programme 'Heir Hunters' on 22 November to talk about Irish migration and family research
  • Emeritus Professor Kate Soper gave a Plenary paper and seminar to the ‘Humanities and the Environment’ international symposium at the Sigtuna Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden on 17 October 2011
  • ESRC Festival of Social Science 2011 - 29 October to 5 November 2011
    Professor Mary J Hickman and Dr Nick Mai were each awarded funding to hold a public event as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2011. The objectives are to celebrate the diversity of ESRC research by promoting and increasing awareness of ESRC and social science, and its impact on UK society and increase public awareness, understanding and engagement with social science amongst the UK population, in particular the public and young people.
  • Study finds migrant sex workers not forced to sell sex
    Dr Nick Mai's event was hosted by Londonmet on 31 October 2011
    For more information and for free download of the full research findings:
    In whose name? Migration, Sex Work and Trafficking
  • New counter-terrorism stategies needed
    Professor Mary Hickman's event was held in Birmingham on 1 November 2011
    For more information and for free download of the full research findings:
    Counter terrorism and Irish and Muslim communities
  • Professor Lyn Thomas was filmed by the BBC at a symposium marking the joint 60th anniversary of The Archers and of the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading University last May.  The clip, where she discusses the Archers audience and the balance of contemporary issues and nostalgia in the programme, can be viewed on the BBC's website:

  • FEMCIT - Integrated Project Gendered Citizenship in a Multi-Cultural Europe, involving 17 European university Partners and fieldwork in 13 countries, has just received the top evaluation possible from the European Commission giving the seal of approval to the large cross-national multi-lingual research team (some 40 researchers took part over 4 years) who integrated research perspectives across different traditions.
    Dr Monica Threlfall, one of the project partners, commented "this evaluation gives well earned recognition for the huge amount of scholarly work and the quantity of dissemination produced and published by the FEMCIT team"
  • “Suspect communities”? Counterterrorism Policy, the Press, and the impact
    on Irish and Muslim Communities in Britain

     "This excellent report poses crucial questions about the Prevent programme and the way in which we approach and engage with communities. The Home Affairs Committee will be considering the findings during our upcoming inquiry into the Roots of Radicalisation" said the Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee launching the above report in Parliament on 7 July 2011   More photos here

  • Presentation by Dr Marco Martiniello on European Union Multicultural Citizenship now available online.  ISET Working Paper to follow shortly.  See ISET European Interdisiplinary Seminat Series Stpgin 2011, below
  • Irish Writers in London Summer School 2011
    9 June - 15 July 2011
    First established in 1996, the summer school runs for two nights a week for five weeks and provides an informal but informative setting for students wishing to study Irish literature over the summer.  More information here
  • Irish in Britain Seminar Series 2011 concluded on Tuesday 31 May 2011
    The recent upturn in Irish migration indicates that Britain continues to be one of the most favoured destinations of Irish migrants into the 21st Century
    'Making Rebels': Home Rule Politics and the Novels of Diasporic Irish Women in Britain
    Whitney Standlee, University of Liverpool

    6.30 – 8.00 p.m Open/Free
  • The Alternative Vote Electoral System – The Referendum is coming
    14 April 2011 - 3pm to 5pm
    Debate chaired by Brendan Donnelly, Director, The Federal Trust
    Stuart Wilks-Heeg, Democratic Audit
    Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College
    Guy Lodge, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
    Dr Monica Threlfall, ISET London Metropolitan University
    followed by reception - ALL WELCOME
    Venue: Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3RB

  • We are pleased to announce the publication of Lyn Thomas's edited book:
    Religion, Consumerism and Sustainability: Paradise Lost? Lyn Thomas (ed) Palgrave 2010
  • ISET European Interdisciplinary Seminar Series Spring 2011
    New Dimensions in Citizenship
    concluded on 30 March 2011 with a talk on
    Intimate Citizenship: an agenda for research and politics
    Dr Sasha Roseneil, Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

    9 March 2011
    European Union Multicultural Citizenship
    Dr Marco Martiniello, Research Director, Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research.
    PowerPoint presentatin available here. M Martiniello ppt

  • Dr Threlfall was invited to give a guest lecture in Santiago de Compostela at the Council for Galician Culture, a body of the regional government of Galicia, Spain.  She discussed citizens' views of the political cultures of relations between parliamentarians and their constituents in Spain, Poland, Macedonia, and the UK, research undertaken as part of the FEMCIT project.  Previous speakers in the series had included Anne Phillips, Chantal Jouffe, and Slavoj Zizek.

    Ramon Villares (right), President of the Consello da Cultura Galega and Professor Ramon Maiz in front of the seat of the Government of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, where the lecture was held
  • The special issue of Cultural Studies on 'Cultural studies and
    anti-consumerism' which Kate Soper and Lyn Thomas contributed articles to
    as part of the alternative hedonism project is to be published as an
    anthology by Routledge
    Migrations of Class: Bev Skeggs and Ben Rogaly

    At a time when class differences are simultaneously denied and magnified in moral panics (about ‘broken Britain’, the ‘feral underclass’ and so on) this seminar addresses the issue of class in contemporary Britain.  In their exploration of representations and lived experiences of class. Bev Skeggs and Ben Rogaly make a crucial and timely intervention as inequalities are deepened and access to education, jobs and welfare threatened. 
  • Stepping Stones to Political Representation for Ethnic Minority Women
    Ethnic Minority Women's Organisations and Political Representation

    FEMCIT EU Project Networking and Discussion Day  
    10 January 2011
    Invitation only
  • Major UK feminist organisations debate:
    Do women in Europe enjoy full citizenship?
    13 December 2010
    Debate organised by the National Alliance of Women's Organisations - NAWO
    co-hosted by London Metropolitan University & the European Commission in the UK
    Held at: Representation of the European Commission in the UK,
    32 Smith Square, SW1P 3EU
  • Dr Janet Enever has been interviewed by EL Gazette on her work on the ELLiE project
    EL Gazette article

  • A global revolution? Teaching English at primary school
    A British Council seminar presentation by Dr Janet Enever
  • Maria Elfani, a VC Scholarship PhD student in ISET, was awarded the best presenter award in the graduate student category at the Energy Conference in Berlin on 12-13 October 2010.  She received a 250 Euro prize for her paper entitled Renewable Energy and its Impact on Employment in Indonesia. More
  • The Camden New Journal reviews Emeritus Professor Michael Newman's book:
    Ralph Miliband And the Politics of the New Left
    Miliband was the man whose political passion inspired the Miliband brothers Ed and David - currently competing for leadership of the Labour party. Their late, much loved father, former refugee Ralph Miliband, is the subject of a highly praised biography by Highgate professor emeritus Mike Newman.

    With all the interest in the Milibands, the book, first published in 2002, is due to be reprinted by Merlin Press. It is very much a reference point for writers and journalists trying to understand the two brothers and their political background. Professor Newman’s book, Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left, has a forward by the doyen of left-wing Labour and former MP Tony Benn.

  • Dr Monica Threlfall,
    Reader in European Politics, ISET,
    engaging David Willetts MP, Minister
    of State for Higher Education and Science,

    on the merits of London Metropolitan University research, at the Million+ Universities' recent event at Westminster. 

    Monica and Graeme Evans (Cities Institute) represented two of LMU's larger EU funded projects at the event.
  • Minister of Education for Poland is opening the Presentation of International Findings from the ELLiE Study on 26-29 October 2010, University of Warsaw Library, Warsaw, Poland.European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme, Early Language Learning in Europe    More information here 
  • Gabriel Weibl from the National Centre for Research on Europe at the University of Christchurch (New Zealand) is visiting ISET between August 30 and September 10.  He is visiting Professor Allan Williams as part of a collaboration on research on international student migration to and from New Zealand
  • The University Challenge for the new Parliament - House of Commons June 2010
    Two ISET Research Projects represented Londonmet at a showcase of talent from Britain's universities
    FEMCIT - Gendered Citizenship in a Multi Cultural Europe - Dr Monica Threlfall
    SECOA - Solutions for environmental contrasts in coastal areas
    Professor Graeme Evans and Professor Allan Williams
  • Irish Writers in London Summer School 2010
    First established by the Irish Studies Centre in 1996, the summer school runs for two nights a week for five weeks and provides an informal but informative setting for students wishing to study Irish literature over the summer.  More information here
    The 2008 RAE - an assessment of the quality of research in the UK - has ranked London Metropolitan amongst the top 10 centres for research on European Studies in Britain. 85% of our research was evaluated as being at least internationally recognized, with more that one third being internationally excellent or world class.
  • Irish in Britain Seminar Series 2010 concluded on Monday 7 June with a talk on
    'Dwellers on the Threshold: Making a London-Irish 'Home' with The Pogues' 
    by Dr Sean Campbell, Anglia Ruskin University. Irish In Britain 2010.pdf
  • Publication Launch: Young Learner English Language Policy and Implementation: International Perspectives, edited by Janet Enever together with Jayne Moon and Uma Raman.  The publication is a collection of 28 papers reflecting the insights of a group of academics, policy makers, senior educationalists and practitioners who have been important contributors internationally, regionally or in their own countries, to debates about Young Learner English language policy and implementation.  A joint British Council-Garnet-IATEFL YLT SIG publication. 
    Launch to be held on Saturday 10 April, 18.45, at the Harrogate conference for the International Association of Teachers of English (IATEFL)
  • Janet Enever  is undertaking a British Council consultancy to advise the Kosovo Ministry of Education on the introduction of English language teaching from grade 1 of primary schooling. For more information here
  • María Villares Varela, from ESOMI (Equipo de Sociología de las Migraciones Internacionales), University of A Coruña, Spain, is a visiting researcher at ISET between April 8th and September 15th 2010. She is currently researching “Immigration and Self-Employment in Spain: Differential Mobilisation of Financial, Human and Social capital”. Her research interests are focused on the labour incorporation of the immigrant population in Spain, particularly on self-employment strategies from a gender perspective.
    For more information about Maria Villares Varela's visit contact Allan Williams
  • The Construction of ‘Suspect’ Communities in Britain 1974-2007:
    comparing the impact on Irish and Muslim communities
    Seminar on First Research Findings was held in March - final full report due in October 2010.
    For further details on the project
    ESRC RES-062-23-1066

    European Futures? Migration, Cohesion, Recession
    The second ISET Other Europes Colloquium focuses on current concerns about the impact of the global financial crisis on the policies and the politics of migration.
    On 1 September 2009 London Metropolitan University was greylisted by the University College Union and other unions because of an important dispute over significant job cuts.  This put the Colloquium in doubt as many speakers would have felt unable to attend. We hope that the Colloquium will be able to be rescheduled and a notice will appear on the website in due course.  We will refund any payments that have already been made. (More information here)
    Mary Hickman, Helen Crowley, Nick Mai

  • With funding from the European Commission London Office, Monica Threlfall has published the Report 'Europe's social situation: towards a more inclusive view' in which a series of UK stakeholder representatives present the situation of women, unpaid carers, ethnic minorities, Muslims, people with disabilities, and migrants, as well as the perspective from Eastern states of the EU. The report includes a model for creating an alternative portrait of Europe that gathers all people into the frame. Download Europe's Social Situation

  • Only a minority of migrant sex workers are trafficked!
    to read the October 2009 Final Policy-Relevant Report by Dr Nick Mai and for further information about the research project please click here

  • Allan Williams is co-author of a report issued by the ESRC AIM centre on 'At the Edge of Innovation: Why Shifts in the Boundaries of Innovation Matter'.  This profiles the work of the ESRC Aim Innovation cohort across a range of current research projects. 
  • Helen Crowley has completed a fifteen month British Academy pilot project on the significance of social cohesion for strategies of settlement and family formation of skilled and unskilled migrant women workers in the care sector.  More information here
  • Council of Irish County Associations (London) Heritage Project
    The Archive of the Irish in Britain (Irish Studies Centre) in partnership with the CICA have secured DION funding to continue the project into its third year.  Under the project Nicole McLennan has been collecting, listing and preserving the records of the Council and County Associations who played a vital role in the reception and settlement of Irish migrants arriving in London from the 1950s.
  • Dr Rueyling Tzeng of the Institute of European and American Studies,
    Academia Sinica, Taiwan ROC, was a visiting researcher at ISET during October and November 2009. During this period she researched immigrant entrepreneurs in London, and collaborating with ISET's Migration and Society research cluster. For more information about Dr Tzeng's visit contact Allan Williams
  • Professor Vladimir Balaz, who is Visiting Professor at ISET, obtained an academic interchange grant from the British Academy to allow him to visit the Institute during August 2009. He worked with ISET's Allan Williams in writing up their theoretical work on migration and risk.
  • EU FP7 Success
    ISET member Allan Williams has been successful in obtaining EU funding for a major four year study of the Impact of Urbanisation and Human Mobility on Environmental Systems in Coastal Areas, in collaboration with Graeme Evans (Cities Institute) and Graham Walters (Business School). Allan will act as overall co-ordinator for the project, on behalf of the Working Lives Research Institute. The eight country study will focus on modelling impacts under different scenarios, with the aim of informing policies for sustainable management of coastal zones. The UK case studies will be Thames Gateway and Portsmouth.
  • Immigration and Inclusion in the UK - the findings of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation research project were launched at the House of Commons in July 2008, followed by regional events in Belfast, Kilburn and Leicester in the Autumn. The report can be downloaded free from:
  • Two New Books on Migration
    In February ISET celebrated the publication of two new books on European Migrations on: Russell King and Nick Mai's 'Out of Albania', and Allan Williams and Vladimir Balaz's 'International Migration and Knowledge'.
    For further information contact
  • Professor Vladimir Balaz, from the Slovak Academy of Science, is currently a Visiting Professor at ISET. He is working with Professor Allan Williams on questions relating to International Migration, particularly concerning skills, knowledge and risks. They are co-authors of International Migration and Knowledge (Routledge 2008).
  • The EU Culture Programme has awarded funding to Allan Williams for a new project, PLACE. This will involve eight international partners in an 18 month study of Preserving Places: managing mass tourism, urban conservation and quality of life in historic centres.
  • Allan Williams is undertaking a joint two-year ESRC funded project with the
    University of Exeter on international migration and hotel innovation. In the latest phase of the project he will be working with Dr Anna Paraskevopoulou and Eugenia Markova (WRLI) examining innovation and the transfer of knowledge and capital by migrant and non migrant hotel owners and workers in the capital. Project Update, September 2008
  • ESF WORKSHOP: Youth Radicalisation And The Role Of Secular And Religious Ideologies In Legitimising Politically Motivated Violence (Nick Mai, Sara
    , Martijn de Koning)
  • Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) project on return migration. Allan Williams has been awarded funding, in collaboration with the University of Canterbury (NZ) for a study of returned and circular migration from the UK to New Zealand
  • The European Commission have awarded funding for a three year longitudinal comparative study of Early Language Learning in Europe (ELLiE) administered by ISET (December 2007- November 2010). The international research team is led by Janet Enever


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