Professor Neli Demireva

Department of Sociology and Criminology
Professor Neli Demireva
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872640

  • Location

    6.334, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    by appointment, Office: 6.334



I am Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. My research focuses on vulnerable local communities, migration, inter-ethnic ties, social cohesion, ethnic penalties and multiculturalism. From 2015 to 2019, I led the GEMM project: “GEMM: Growth, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets”. The project addressed the challenges and barriers that European countries face in managing the mobility of persons to realize competitiveness and growth. I currently work on several topics exploring local area effects in relation to migrants, voluntary organizations in the UK, and social trust. You can read more about these projects in the research section. I am a member of the International Editorial Board of Ethnic and Racial Studies. From 2020 to 2023, I was Associate Editor of Migration Studies. I sit on the Advisory Board of the UK Data Service and the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. Pioneering Social Research, my book with Paul Thompson and Ken Plummer is out now with Policy Press. My research has been featured in the Independent, TEDx, LSE Politics and Policy Blog, the Migration Observatory, CORDIS, and the Guardian. I have been invited to speak at the European Ideas Network Seminar in the European Parliament, the European Commission and at the Global Empowerment Meeting 2018 of the Harvard Kennedy School.


  • 2005-2009 DPhil in Sociology, University of Oxford, St.Johns College. Thesis: Ethnic Penalties, Job Search and the British Labour Market

  • 2004-2005 MSc in Sociology, University of Oxford, St. Johns College. Thesis: Ethnic Intermarriage in Britain


University of Essex

  • Director of Research, Sociology Department, Essex University (1/8/2019 - 1/8/2021)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

social cohesion

Open to supervise

multiculturalism and civic integration

Open to supervise

crime and neighbourhood effects

Open to supervise

job search and labour market inclusion

Open to supervise

Current research

inter-ethnic ties

social cohesion

ethnic penalties and multiculturalism

Conferences and presentations

Labour market integration of migrants – challenges for the local level

Invited presentation, EU Regions week 2019 organized by the European Commission and the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, 8/10/2019

In-migration, out-migration: the last 25 years in Central Europe

Invited presentation, European Ideas Network Seminar, Mr. Paulo Rangel MEP Vice Chairman of the EPP group, Brussels, Belgium, 6/12/2018

Global Empowerment Meeting, Harvard Kennedy School/Centre for International Development: E PLURIBUS UNUM: How to overcome the tension between diversity and social cohesion to make the most of ‘Us’

Invited presentation, Global Empowerment Meeting, Harvard Kennedy School/Centre for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, United States, 17/4/2018

28th -29th September 2017. University of Amsterdam, Department of Sociology Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) Ethnic inequality in the labour market: Cross-national perspectives and causal analysis, with Wouter Zwysen: Does the ethnic composition of a local area affect the labour market outcomes of the majority, migrants and minorities in Europe (Paper presentation)

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2017

12th-15th of August, 2017. ASA Annual Meeting Montreal, Cultural barriers to the successful integration of minorities in Britain (Paper presentation)

Montreal, Canada, 2017

7th-10th of August, 2017. RC28 New York, The Labour Market Incorporation of Migrant Women: A cross-nationally comparative analysis based on the European Social Values Survey (Paper presentation)

New York, United States, 2017

19th-22nd of August, 2016. ASA Annual Meeting, Seattle. Types and context of minority bonding and bridging and the role of networks in the integration process (Paper presentation)

Seattle, United States, 2016

27th of May, 2016. RC28 Singapore. The role of associational bonding and associational bridging in facilitating minority involvement and Integration (with Ananthi Al Ramiah) (Paper presentation)

Singapore, Singapore, 2016

18th of May, 2016. Invited Presentation. Ties that bind and ties that dont an examination of the role of social ties, neighbourhood embeddedness and social cohesion outcomes. CREST, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique, Paris (Paper presentation)

Paris, France, 2016

October, 2014. TedX talk, Lakeside theatre Multiculturalism: Dead or Alive: (Outreach event_

Colchester, United Kingdom, 2014

November, 2014. A series of public talks and outreach events on Betting shops and local communities, Colchester, Clacton Town Hall as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.) (Outreach event)

Colchester, United Kingdom, 2014

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Poverty, Community and Development (EC205)

Previous supervision

Aviah Sarah Day
Aviah Sarah Day
Thesis title: Partnership and Power: Domestic Violence, the Women's Sector, and the Criminal Justice System
Degree subject: Sociology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 7/12/2018
Kenisha Samantha Russell Jonsson
Kenisha Samantha Russell Jonsson
Thesis title: Where You Live Makes a Difference - Quantifying Neighbourhood Effects on the Health of Young People
Degree subject: Sociological Research
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 21/6/2018
Sergio Lo Iacono
Sergio Lo Iacono
Thesis title: On the Determinants of Generalized Trust: An Investigation of the Institution-Centred and Society-Centred Perspectives
Degree subject: Sociology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 9/1/2018


Journal articles (14)

Demireva, N. and Zwysen, W., (2022). Wellbeing in local areas: how trust, happiness, social distance and experience of discrimination differ in the perceived ethnic enclave. European Societies. 24 (1), 83-110

Demireva, N. and Zwysen, W., (2021). Ethnic Enclaves, Economic and Political Threat: An Investigation With the European Social Survey. Frontiers in Sociology. 6

Zwysen, W. and Demireva, N., (2020). Ethnic and migrant penalties in job quality in the UK: the role of residential concentration and occupational clustering. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 46 (1), 200-221

Demireva, N., (2019). Receiving Country Investments and Acquisitions: How Migrants Negotiate the Adaptation to Their Destination. Social Inclusion. 7 (4), 299-308

Demireva, N. and Quassoli, F., (2019). The Lived Experiences of Migration: An Introduction. Social Inclusion. 7 (4), 1-6

Russell Jonsson, K. and Demireva, N., (2018). Does the ethno-religious diversity of a neighbourhood affect the perceived health of its residents?. Social Science and Medicine. 204 (C), 108-116

Demireva, N. and Fellini, I., (2018). Returns to Human Capital and the Incorporation of Highly-Skilled Workers in the Public and Private Sector of Major Immigrant Societies: An Introduction. Social Inclusion. 6 (3), 1-5

Demireva, N. and Lo Iacono, S., (2018). Returns to Foreign and Host Country Qualifications: Evidence from the US on the Labour Market Placement of Migrants and the Second Generation. Social Inclusion. 6 (3), 142-152

Demireva, N. and Zwysen, W., (2018). An Examination of Ethnic Hierarchies and Returns to Human Capital in the UK. Social Inclusion. 6 (3), 6-33

Demireva, N. and Heath, A., (2017). Minority Embeddedness and Economic Integration: Is Diversity or Homogeneity Associated with Better Employment Outcomes?. Social Inclusion. 5 (1), 20-31

Demireva, N. and Heath, A., (2014). Diversity and the Civic Spirit in British Neighbourhoods: An Investigation with MCDS and EMBES 2010 Data. Sociology. 48 (4), 643-662

Heath, A. and Demireva, N., (2014). Has multiculturalism failed in Britain?. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 37 (1), 161-180

Demireva, N. and Kesler, C., (2011). The curse of inopportune transitions: The labour market behaviour of immigrants and natives in the UK. International Journal of Comparative Sociology. 52 (4), 306-326

Demireva, N., (2011). New Migrants in the UK: Employment Patterns and Occupational Attainment. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 37 (4), 637-655

Books (1)

Thompson, P., Plummer, K. and Demireva, N., (2021). Pioneering Social Research Life Stories of a Generation. Policy Press. 1447333527. 9781447333524

Book chapters (3)

Demireva, N. and Heath, A., (2015). Informal, Associational Bonding and Associational Bridging: Which Ties Matter Most for Minority Involvement and Integration?. In: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Social Capital. Editors: Li, Y., . Edward Elgar Publishing. 126- 144. 978 0 85793 584 7

Demireva, N. and Heath, A., (2015). Informal, associational bonding and associational bridging: which ties matter most for minority involvement and integration?. In: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Social Capital: Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications. 126- 144

Demireva, N., (2014). Social Cohesion in Britain: Key Facts, Challenges and Responses. In: Social Cohesion - Addressing Social Divides in Europe and Asia. Editors: Hofmeister, W. and Rueppel, P., . Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung and European Union. 161- 174. 978-981-09-2115-6

Conferences (1)

Kesler, C. and Demireva, N., (2011). Social Cohesion and Host Country Nationality among Immigrants in Western Europe

Grants and funding


Lived religion and socioeconomic mobility among second-generation Nigerian Pentecostals in London

British Academy


Identifying the economic and social impacts of migration in Britain

Leverhulme Trust


The impact of a community farm on community social cohesion: the case of CoFarm

University of Essex


The Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC)

Economic and Social Research Council


A technical meeting on Migrant and minority integration (showcasing the work of GEMM organised together with DG TRD in Brussels)

University of Essex



European Commission (H2020)


Understanding the Ecology of Disadvantage: Betting Agents, Crime and the British Neighbourhood

The British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872640


6.334, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

by appointment, Office: 6.334

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