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Autumn Academy 2019: Narrative change on migration and integration at the municipal level

Autumn Academy / 18 - 20 September 2019, Convened by Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

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The Autumn Academy 2019 was a symposium for senior policy makers, NGO leaders, academic experts and foundations involved in the development, implementation and study of immigration and asylum policies in Europe and North America. Held annually in Oxford (UK), the Autumn Academy provides a precious opportunity, in a private round table setting, to share knowledge, expertise and ideas; consider the implications of research evidence and analysis; critique policy and practice options; learn from differing approaches and consider their potential applicability in differing contexts.

In 2019, the Academy explored the issue of narrative change on migration and integration. Shifting the narrative in terms of better understanding and shaping public opinion on migration emerged as a key theme of the 2018 Autumn Academy and was the number one requested topic from participants for a future academy to cover, with a sense that both the public sector and NGOs lack the tools necessary to link their service delivery to narrative.

The 2019 Autumn Academy aimed to deliver a space for policy makers, practitioners and researchers to explore this topic with the aim of shifting the agenda forward. Whilst in some countries and sectors, narrative change has become somewhat established as a tool for understanding and facilitating change, it remains an underdeveloped area with policy interventions, particularly at the local level, tending to focus on service delivery, with limited use of segmentation research and other research dedicated to understanding public opinion and the tools to shape effective messages and narratives.

Participants explored how change can be built at the city level and will bring together participants primarily from the UK, Germany, France, Greece, Italy and the US, with a particular focus on working directly with city officials and politicians themselves. The Academy drew on research expertise from political science, social policy and migration studies to look at the ways in which understanding and segmenting public opinion can lead to the development of communications strategies and practical interventions which can support cities in their aims. Our hope is that, through discussion and reflection, the symposium will identify general principles on which successful future relationships can be built.

Participants contributed to the agenda as speakers, respondents, and session chairs.

The symposium was organised by the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, the knowledge-exchange arm of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. Funding was provided by The Social Change Initiative, supported by Atlantic Philanthropies, as a programme within its own Migration Learning Exchange initiative.

PHOTO CREDIT Rosaleen Cunningham 2019

Participants of the Autumn Academy 2019

Final Report

Learning Note

Background paper

Understanding narrative change on migration and integration at the municipal level by Denis Kierans


Autumn Academy Speakers and Participants


Autumn Academy agenda

Selected Presentations and Interviews

  • A New Narrative for Municipal Inclusion: Envisioning a New Normal for Municipalities WorldwideDavid Lubell
    Interview & PowerPoint PDF
  • Communicating Strategically about Immigrant Integration: Policymaker PerspectivesAliyyah Ahad and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Public Attitudes on Immigration in European CountriesAnnmarie Benedict Pagliano
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Hope not HateRosie Carter
    Interview & PowerPoint PDF
  • Narratives of Inclusion? A focus on Politics & Political ActorsLeila Hadj Abdou
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Narratives at the local levelSunder Katwala
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Public Opinion towards Migration: Research and Good PracticeAlexander Wolffhardt
    PowerPoint PDF
  • The Economic Case for Immigrant Inclusion Changing the Narrative around Immigration in the USKate Brick
    Interview & PowerPoint PDF
  • #Rethinkingrefugee as employees and entrepreneursFuad Mahamed
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Changing the Weather in the Public Debate on MigrationEóin Young
    Interview & PowerPoint PDF
  • Branding diversity in Rotterdam and Amsterdam: How political discourses and marketing logic pushes migration-related diversity to the background in place brandsWarda Belabas
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Building narratives on migration and integration in AthensDionysia Lambiri
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Narrative change on migration and integration at the municipal levelCosimo Palazzo
    PowerPoint PDF
  • Mannheim Declaration on living together in diversityClaus Preißler
    Interview & PowerPoint PDF
  • Narrative change on migration and integration at the municipal level: Perspectives from CardiffSiân Sanders
    PowerPoint PDF

View all Autumn Academies