New research project to examine impacts of the ‘Go Home’ Campaign

The University of Glasgow, in partnership with the University of Warwick has won a grant to research the wide-ranging impacts of the Home Office ‘Go Home’ immigration campaign.

The team, led by sociologist Dr Hannah Jones and includes Dr Emma Jackson from Urban Studies, University of Glasgow as Co-Investigator, will go beyond the Home Office’s internal evaluation of the ‘Go Home’ van to uncover impacts on local migrant and non-migrant communities, public debate and activism.

The Herald: Immigration campaign impact to be examined

The grant, for £200,000 over 18 months, is one of the first successful applications to the Economic and Social Research Council new Urgency Grants Mechanism to support social science research projects responding quickly to urgent or unforeseen events.

The project will be carried out by researchers from universities across the UK and in conjunction with research partners Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network, Migrant Voice, Runnymede Trust and Scottish Refugee Council. Researchers will collaborate with community groups in Barking & Dagenham, Bradford, Birmingham, Cardiff, Ealing & Hounslow, and Glasgow.

Dr Emma Jackson, Urban Studies Journal Research Fellow, University of Glasgow said "Understanding the impact of the 'Go Home' posters and related campaigns is crucial. We need to understand how such policies affect the lives of migrants, local communities and good community relations.

“Public and political debate on migration and borders will continue with the Scottish Independence Referendum in September 2014, and the general election in May 2015.  This provides a real opportunity to examine the impact of policy interventions on public debate about immigration across the UK. Glasgow is a key case study in the research as posters reading 'Is life here hard, why not go home' were piloted in the UKBA Brand Street Offices.''

In July 2013, the UK Home Office launched a series of high-profile interventions which directed public attention to an increasing ‘hard line’ from the government on ‘illegal immigration’, including: an advertising campaign in London boroughs calling on migrants with insecure legal status to ‘go home’; high-profile immigration checks and raids in public spaces; and pictures of arrests circulated through the Home Office Twitter account using the hashtag #immigrationoffenders. These initiatives have drawn public attention and generated debate and activism in an acute way which needs urgent attention.

Using a combination of online, textual and visual analysis, large-scale surveys, interviews and participant observation, this project will study the operation, impacts and implications of these initiatives, and the responses to them. The project will engage directly with policy makers, local activists and public debates, including through a series of public events and online dissemination through social media and a project blog.

Find out more

Emma Jackson

Urban Studies

School of Social and Political Sciences

College of Social Sciences

For more information, contact Cara MacDowall on 0141 330 3683 or email

First published: 18 November 2013