Citizenship and Identity: activists, ministers and party leaders consider where next for the UK

Whether it’s the spectacular rise of the SNP or UKIP, or the strong campaign by Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election, parts of the political landscape in the UK are changing fast.

As a country, the UK is becoming more diverse: politically, culturally and ethnically.  What does all this mean for concepts of citizenship and identity across the UK?    The question will be at the heart of a conference, jointly organised by Swansea University with Scottish partners, which takes place in Glasgow on Monday 14 September.

Speakers range from Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and ministers in the Scottish government, to a young community activist who organised campaigns against the deportation of her classmates.

The event will explore the varying degrees to which member states of the UK evaluate and engage with our diverse communities, and the subsequent impact this has on concepts of ‘identity’ in the UK in 2015 and beyond.

The conference is timely, as it follows the extraordinary upsurge in political activism seen in the Scottish Referendum.  It comes shortly after the UK General Election of 2015 and before the 2016 elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.    

The event is organised by BEMIS Scotland in conjunction with Swansea University’s European Institute of Identities and GRAMNet (Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network).

A similar event will be held in Wales in the run-up to the Assembly elections in spring 2016.

Syd Morgan of the European Institute of Identities at Swansea University said:  “At the conference we are keen to facilitate direct engagement with political representatives, community practitioners, independent analysts and diverse organisations to consider the impact of this soft democratic revolution on our diverse ethnic and cultural minority communities.

“The event will be a chance to consider the implications of 2014/15/16 and to examine how these years will help shape the UK and its diverse communities, governments, parliaments, assemblies and institutions in the years to come.”


Confirmed speakers:


  • Humza Yousaf MSP (SNP, Glasgow. Minister for External Affairs and International Development)
  • Cllr. Archie Graham OBE (Depute Leader of the Council, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Executive Member for Equalities, Glasgow City Council)
  • Professor James Mitchell (Professor of Public Policy, Co-Director of Academy of Government, University of Edinburgh)
  • Leanne Wood AM (Leader of Plaid Cymru, Member of the National Assembly for Wales, South Wales Central region)
  • Ken Mackintosh MSP (Scottish Labour, Eastwood)
  • Sir Roderick Evans (Pro-Chancellor, Swansea University)
  • Marco Biagi MSP (SNP, Edinburgh Central. Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment)
  • Roza Salih (Community Activist / Glasgow Girl)