The Network Dynamics of Ethnic Integration

Nordic research on ethnic relations, integration and various forms of segregation have benefited greatly from available register data. Covering a broad range of topically relevant variables, Nordic register data constitute a unique and strategic resource for research and evidence-based policy making on ethnic relations and integration.

Although Nordic register data correspond to near-complete populations, each with rich sets of relational sociometric data of prime relevance for the study of ethnic relations and integration, so far the existing register-based research is overwhelmingly done using conventional statistical frameworks that assume independence of observations. Consequently, the analyses and theories of ethnic integration seldom examine the detailed and complex network data available in the registers, to decipher social relations and interactions through which social systems are defined.

Bringing together leading Nordic social-scientific research centers on integration and segregation with world-leading expertise on complex systems and network science, this project will build capacity and expertise in network-scientific register-based research on ethnic relations and integration. Guided by existing sociological research questions and existing collaboration structures between partners, three core topics in ethnic relations research will be approached from a network-scientific perspective: inter-ethnic family tieslabor market discrimination, and residential segregation. This project will produce cutting edge research publishable in the most prestigious academic journals and produce new and important knowledge about segregation and integration in Nordic countries. Integral to this, the project will also train a new cadre of entry-level scholars in the interdisciplinary area of network science and ethnic integration.

Beyond the academic novelty of this particular interdisciplinary combination, this project is of profound societal relevance with regards to findings, methods and, specifically, the network-based notion of inclusive integration. Arguing for and demonstrating the practical advantages of viewing integration in terms of the complete set of inter-ethnic relations, the notion and practical relevance of inclusive integration will be disseminated to policy-makers, social service providers, NGO:s and other relevant stakeholders in various ways, including a world-class interactive visual analytics platform aimed primarily at policy-makers.


Bjørnar K

Bjørnar Solhaug Komissar

Senior Adviser