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VAM-Velferd, arbeid og migrasjon

Good Integration (GOODINT): Goals and bottlenecks of successful integration and social cohesion

Alternative title: God Integrasjon (GOODINT): Mål og hindringer for god integrasjon og sosial samhørighet

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

What is good integration of migrants in Norway and Europe? How can we achieve it? GOODINT is a philosophical research project that examines these two questions. In particular, the project analyses the extent to which good integration is, or is not, dependent on realizing equality of opportunity, cultural integration, and social cohesion. The project focuses on three European contexts: UK, Norway/Nordics, and Hungary. This ensures that the theoretical analyses are grounded in real world circumstances, and acknowledges that ‘good integration’ may mean very different things depending on the context in question. The first year of the project has lead the project into a good start. The official project launch (Dec 2021) was held mostly online/hybrid (due to Corona restrictions), and we have organized two in-person/hybrid workshops with members and invited guests (CEU in May, and CEPDISC Aarhus Sep.). The planning of the future project workshops and conferences are well underway, including a workshop on ‘Exclusion, integration, and democracy’ in Tromsø, May 2022; the main project conference on ‘Trust, Integration, and Social Cohesion’, June 2023; and another project workshop in Cambridge, September 2023. The three working groups have organized internally, and plans are already on the way for e.g. common publication projects, special issues, etc. Nils Holtug’s book, “The Politics of Social Cohesion” was published Dec 2021, and we organized a book workshop on this in Budapest, May 2022. In addition, a number of publications are in various stages of the process and are added to the project web-site as they come out. The two project post docs (Zsolt Kapelner and Kerstin Reibold) and one PhD student (Sara Toffanin) have started their work, and these younger scholars are also actively engaged in the planning and organizing of project workshops and conferences, outreach activities, and research collaborations. Other younger scholar training has included e.g. a masters course at UiT (FIL-3021), taught by the PI together with guest lectures from some of the project members. In order to make our work known for the larger public, we have launched a project web-site ( containing information of all key aspects of the project; including a series of informal interviews with the project members. The first ‘Faces of Integration’ panel discussion with local actors was organized at CEU (May 2022), and the second is planned for Tromsø in May 2023. Other public dissemination have included both public lectures and newspaper articles discussing some of the key themes of the project, incl. e.g. the ethics of forced displacement, LGBTIQ+ integration, and the effects of the global pandemics on national identity and social cohesion. Web:

GOODINT aims to provide a context sensitive theory of Good Integration, i.e., one which identifies criteria of goodness which are appropriate to the specific context in question as opposed to one that identifies criteria that, say, are not specific to the sort of groups the integration of which is in question. A context sensitive theory (as opposed to context-insensitive theory) is reflective of the particular context in terms of allowing it to specify the particular problem to be assessed, as well as in operating as an inherent element of its normative evaluation. GOODINT seeks to achieve this aim through a comparative approach to the integration goals and policies of three European countries: Norway, UK, and Hungary. These three countries have, both historically and at present, adopted somewhat different views on the central normative goals of integration and the means via which such goals are to be achieved. The different country contexts also provide different constraints through which the feasibility of the possible policies of integration are to be assessed, thus providing an ample starting point for GOODINT’s comparative approach. Such comparative approach, which is rather novel in political philosophy, provides a unique perspective for a normative analysis of different aspects of migration, diversity, and social cohesion, including the extent to which different country contexts affect our conceptual and normative frameworks of analysis of good integration. Furthermore, in contrast to many other accounts of good integration, GOODINT focuses on the ideals of equality of opportunity, and the ways in which such ideals, and the different understandings and commitments to such ideals, mould both our understandings of what Good Integration entails, as well as the means through which such integration is to be achieved.

Funding scheme:

VAM-Velferd, arbeid og migrasjon