E.g., 02/26/2021
E.g., 02/26/2021

Meghan Benton

Experts & Staff

Meghan Benton

Director of Research, MPI International Program and MPI Europe

202-266-1925

@meghan_benton

Meghan Benton is Director of Research for the International Program at MPI as well as for MPI Europe. Her areas of expertise are immigrant integration (especially labor market integration and integration at the local level) and the role of technological and social innovation in immigration and integration policy. She also has an interest in labor migration and mobility; she has written extensively on Brexit and free movement, as well as on how labor market disruption affects immigration and integration. She convenes MPI Europe’s Integration Futures Working Group, which seeks to develop a forward-looking agenda for integration policy in Europe.

Media Requests
Michelle Mittelstadt
+1 202-266-1910
+44 20 8123 6265
[email protected]

General Inquiries
+1 202-266-1941

Dr. Benton previously was a Senior Researcher at Nesta, the United Kingdom’s innovation body, where she led projects on digital government and the future of local public services. Prior to joining Nesta, she was a Policy Analyst at MPI from 2012-15, where she co-led an MPI-International Labor Organization six-country project on pathways to skilled work for newly arrived immigrants in Europe. She also worked on Project UPSTREAM, a four-country project on mainstreaming immigrant integration in the European Union. Previously, she worked for the Constitution Unit at University College London and the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Dr. Benton received her PhD in political science from University College London in 2010, where her PhD research focused on citizenship and the rights of noncitizens. She also holds a master’s degree in legal and political theory (with distinction) from University College London, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature from Warwick University.

Bio Page Tabs

Digital litter

Several years after a flurry of tech innovations arose to respond to the 2015-16 European migration crisis and assist asylum seekers, "digital litter"—now-dormant websites, broken links, and poor-quality information spread through apps and social media—is floating around. At best, digital litter is a nuisance. At worst, it can place refugees and migrants in harm's way and undermine their decision-making, as this article explores.

Three men pose with guns

Even with the collapse of the Islamic State's "caliphate," thousands of Western foreign fighters are estimated to remain in the Middle East. Deciding how to handle the return of the radicalized—and their dependents—is no easy issue. Some countries seek to revoke their citizenship. Yet citizenship revocation has unclear impact and raises deep questions about the limits of a state’s responsibility to its citizens, as this article explores.

British and EU flags

As Brexit negotiations move forward, the issue of the future rights for EU nationals resident in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living on the continent has emerged as a sticking point. Though negotiators in early December 2017 agreed to a skeletal deal on citizens' rights, countless details remain to be worked out, leaving the future of some 4 million people unresolved—with implications for them, their families, employers, and others.

2016 saw the emergence of a "whole-of-society" approach to the refugee crisis, with a number of new actors, including many from the private sector, engaging with humanitarian protection issues in creative ways. This engagement and the energy and diversity of these partners, in the tech sector and beyond, creates both opportunities and challenges for governments and more traditional civil-society organizations.

The ruins of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul’s Old Town

Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.

International migration flows are becoming increasingly diverse—not just in origins, but also in the composition of labor migration flows and the destinations to which migrants are heading. This article leads off the Migration Information Source's annual Top 10 Migration Issues of the Year.

Muslim integration is one of the most contentious issues in the immigration debate in Europe, and one that gets to the heart of public anxieties about immigration. This article explores public perception toward Muslims in Western Europe and the array of integration policies that countries in the region have adopted during the past several years.

Commentaries
May 2020
By  Meghan Benton
Commentaries
March 2020
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Meghan Benton and Susan Fratzke
Commentaries
January 2020
By  Meghan Benton
Commentaries
January 2019
By  Meghan Benton and Aliyyah Ahad
Commentaries
March 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett and Meghan Benton

Recent Activity

Commentaries
January 2019

Following the dramatic defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the UK Parliament this week, all bets are off when it comes to whether the United Kingdom will crash out of the European Union on March 29 without a Brexit deal. A no-deal scenario would have seismic ramifications for the legal residence, work rights, benefits and pensions, and health care for nearly 1 million UK nationals living on the continent.

Reports
January 2019

Across Europe, policymakers responsible for immigrant integration are dealing with a rapidly evolving set of challenges—from the diversification of new arrivals and changing European labor markets to rising anti-immigrant sentiment and tight budgets. This report explores promising strategies from other policy areas that could be used to develop, fund, evaluate, and make the case for investing in integration.

Reports
November 2018

In many recent European and U.S. elections, candidates touting nativist populist and anti-immigrant platforms have enjoyed rising support. As populism moves from the fringes into the mainstream, this report takes stock of the economic and social forces driving its rise, the diverse ways populists are influencing immigration policymaking, and what it will take to build a new center around immigration and integration issues.

Video, Audio, Webinars
October 16, 2018

Can people be 'nudged' into support for immigrant integration? On this webinar, speakers explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy and how policymakers can start fitting this approach, which has been used in areas from tax compliance to organ donation, into their work. The webinar marked the release of the report, Applying Behavioral Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion

Reports
October 2018

Governments are increasingly drawing on research into human behavior when developing policies that aim to encourage people to make better decisions, be it accessing preventative health care or paying taxes. This report explores how a similar approach of 'nudges' could be applied to immigrant integration policy to encourage social mixing, narrow socioeconomic gaps, and more.

Video, Audio, Webinars
October 3, 2018

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. Speakers also explored the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work.

Reports
October 2018

European labor markets are poised to change significantly in the coming years as technological advancements and other forces reshape the world of work. While these developments will affect all workers, they have particular implications for immigrant integration. This report breaks down the factors driving change and explores promising policy innovations to help societies better prepare for it.  

Reports
July 2018

European countries have ramped up their investments in helping refugees find work and integrate into society. Yet little hard evidence exists of what programs and policies work best. This report proposes a new framework for thinking smartly about integration programming, using cost-benefit analysis to look beyond short-term, economic outcomes to also measure indirect benefits through a social-value concept.

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