About the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS)

Birmingham cityscapeThe Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) works to advance and promote the University’s expertise in the emerging field of superdiversity. We are the first institute in the UK and one of the first globally to focus on superdiversity.

IRiS uses an interdisciplinary approach to researching superdiversity bringing together over 60 academics from four colleges and 15 different schools including social policy, politics, theology, education, psychology, geography and sports sciences. Together we seek to answer the globally, nationally and locally important questions that emerge at the nexus of migration, faith, language, ethnicity and culture. We work to drive forward the research, practice and policy agendas around superdiversity generating advanced, high quality research to underpin theory building, knowledge generation, policy making and public debate about the demographic, social, political and cultural changes brought by international migration, globalization and transnationalism and manifested in the increased complexity and stratification of contemporary societies.

We address important issues related to: population dynamics, security, cohesion and integration, identity, global networks, rights and citizenship, service delivery, well-being, social exclusion, and the opportunities that a superdiverse society offers to support economic recovery.

We use our location in Birmingham, one of the UK’s most diverse cities, to inspire and focus our research but our reach is global.

IRiS is delivering our ambitions by: 

  • Consolidating expertise on superdiversity within the University and providing a platform for advanced interdisciplinary research. 
  • Leading thinking globally, nationally and locally on the nature and impact of superdiversity across a range of disciplines.
  • Building the capacity of researchers, policy makers, practitioners and communities to understand and respond to superdiversity. 
  • Developing new methodologies for researching superdiversity in conjunction with communities, practitioners and policymakers. 
  • Promoting learning on superdiversity through the development of excellent quality post-graduate and post-experience teaching programmes.
  • Building a network of global partnerships linking researchers across the global south and global north.

More information

For more information about IRiS’s activities and how you can get involved contact IRiS Manager Ann Bolstridge a.bolstridge@bham.ac.uk or Director Professor Jenny Phillimore.