PhD Research Project

Policing and racial and ethnic diversity: a local case study

Supervisors: Dr Liz Frondigoun, Dr Annette Robertson & Dr Chris Nottingham Glasgow Caledonian University

PhD Student: Mwenda Kailemia Glasgow Caledonian University


Issues surrounding ethnic diversity are a key part of Scottish Government policy and of the Police-Community thematic Network of SIPR. It is widely acknowledged that in comparison to other jurisdictions, there is a scarcity of research in Scotland on this issue in general (de Lima 2005), its relevance to policing policy and practice (Goodall et al 2003), and research which takes account of the rapidly changing context of policing in such areas (Frondigoun et al 2007). This includes the arrival of migrants from New Accession countries, particularly in areas with established minority ethnic communities with larger numbers of third generation minority ethnic youth; the development of community planning and anti racist strategies on the part of the police and the impact of events such as the terrorist attacks in London, widely referred to as '7/7' and the attempted terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport in 2007 on the attitudes towards and experiences of young people from Muslim backgrounds of racism and anti-terrorist policing. All of these issues have the potential to exacerbate existing tensions as well as to create new ones.

Previous research (Goodall et al 2003; Reid-Howie 2002), including that carried out at Glasgow Caledonian University (Frondigoun et al 2007) has indicated a complex, and distinctively Scottish, situation as regards young people from minority ethnic groups in relation to their identities, particularly the hybrid identities of third generation youth (Hopkins 2007), their everyday experiences of racism and their attitudes towards police, with more favourable attitudes being expressed towards 'community' police than other police officers. In relation to these youth, research has identified not only the need to access hard-to-reach young people, but also concerns about the impact of migration from new accession countries. Some of these groups arrive with a very different set of cultural attitudes and expectations of policing and institutional authority in general (Modood 2007). Their arrival has also given rise to new concerns about and perceptions of community safety in local areas.

This indicates the need for ethnographic research in a carefully chosen locality to further explore these dynamics. The proposed research would centre on one area, Govanhill, in the south side of Glasgow, identified by key informants, including the police, as an area characterised by identifiable groups of new migrants (particularly Poles, Romanis and Czechs) along with a pre-existing and well-established minority ethnic Pakistani community. It has also been subject to sensationalised media attention.

Aims & Objectives: References:

De Lima, P (2005) 'An Inclusive Scotland? The Scottish Executive and racial inequality' in GC Mooney and G Scott (ed) (2005) Exploring Social Policy in a Devolved Scotland, Policy Press, London.

Frondigoun, L., Croall, C.. Hughes, B., Russell, L., Russell, R. and Scott, G. (2007) Researching Minority Ethnic Young People in Central Scotland. Glasgow: Glasgow Caledonian University.

Goodall, K. with Choudri, R., Barbour, R. and Hilton, S. (2003) The Policing of Racist Incidents in Strathclyde, University of Glasgow.

Hopkins, P (2007) 'Blue squares', 'proper' muslims and transnational networks: narratives of national and religious identities amongst young Muslim men living in Scotland' Ethnicities 7.1, pp 61-81.

Modood T. (2007 ) Multiculturalism. Cambridge:Polity Press

Reed-Howie Associates (2002) Police Stop and Search among White and Minority Ethnic Young People in Scotland Scottish Executive Central Research Unit.

Futher publications will be placed here in due course.


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