James Laurence joined the Economic and Social Research Institute as a Senior Research Officer in the Social Research Division, in October 2021. Prior to joining the ESRI, he held posts at the University of Manchester, University of Tokyo, Das Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Nuffield College, Oxford, and Stockholm University. He holds a DPhil in Sociology from the University of Oxford.
His main research interests revolve around: exploring the drivers of, and obstacles to, social inclusion and social integration across communities, between ethnic and immigrant groups, among youth, and across society; examining the dynamic relationship between how inclusion and integration are both structured by, and help explain, patterns of social inequalities and social stratification; and, investigating the consequences of differential patterns of inclusion and integration for people’s lives, such as their mental/physical health and wellbeing, their access to, and use of, social and economic resources, their long-term life chances, and the cohesion of communities, and societies more broadly. He has published widely on topics of immigration, ethnic diversity and social cohesion; youth development and engagement; the macro- and micro-economic drivers of social and civic engagement; and, more recently, the dynamics between the COVID-19 pandemic, social cohesion, and mental health.