2020 schedule

OxCo presents: CoM 2020


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OxCo presents

Cognition & Migration
2020 workshop

An engaging and exhilarating two-day workshop designed to connect scholars from all around the world.

Find out more about the
Cognition & Migration project

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Conference highlights

2 keynote addresses

by Susan T. Fiske (Princeton)
Douglas S. Massey (Princeton)

6 interactive sessions

12 ground-breaking papers will be presented and discussed

4 networking sessions,
2 social events

Including wine tasting

Full agenda

16 December
2 pm – 3 pm (Paris time)
Introduction and Keynote addresses
Susan T. Fiske (Psychology Department, Princeton)

Douglas S. Massey (Sociology Department, Princeton)

3 pm – 3:45 pm
Session 1: Social diversity
Danying Li, Miguel Ramos (Birmingham, UK), Matthew Bennett, Douglas Massey, Miles Hewstone
“How Does Increasing Immigration Affect
Ethnic Minority Groups?”

Sébastien Michiels, Christophe J. Nordman, and
Suneha Seetahul (U. of Sydney, Australia)
“Many Rivers to Cross:Social Identity,
Cognition and Labour Mobility in Rural India”

3:45 pm – 4 pm: Networking session (2 by 2)
4 pm – 4:45 pm
Session 2: Decision-making and mobility
Mathias Czaika (Danube University Krems, Austria), Jakub Bijak, Toby Prike
“Migration Decision-Making: A Typology of Processes and Features”

Ilka Vari-Lavoisier (U. Of Trento/U. Of Oxford, UK)
“A Socio-Cognitive Approach To Future-Oriented Cognition”

4:45 – 5pm: Networking session
5 pm – 5:45 pm
Session 3: Immigrant integration
Maria Abascal (New York U., US), Tiffany J. Huang, Van C. Tran
“Intervening in Anti-Immigrant Sentiments:
The Causal Effects of Factual Information
on Attitudes Toward Immigration”

Alberto Alesina, Johann Harnoss And Hillel Rapoport (Paris School of Economics)
“Immigration and The Future of The Welfare State in Europe”

6 pm – 7 pm: Social event
Wine tasting, optical illusions, quiz and more.
Winner announcement and award at 6:55 pm.
17 December
2 pm – 2:45 pm
Session 4: Policy Frames
Virginie Guiraudon (Sciences Po, France)
“Policy Narratives in The Governance of Migration”

Jacqueline Broadhead (Oxford, UK)
“How an Interdisciplinary Approach To
Narrative Can Support Policy Making
On Migration And Integration At The City Level”

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Session 5: Religious and Political Affiliations
Yossi Harpaz (Harvard U./ Tel-Aviv U., Israel)
“Belonging Through Ritual: Evaluating the Effect
of Naturalization Ceremonies on Immigrant Integration”

Lena Rose (Oxford, UK) and Zoe Given-Wilson
“Claiming Asylum as Convert to Christianity:
Narrations, Expectations, Adaptations, And Misunderstandings”

3:30 pm- 3:45 pm: Networking session (4 by 4)
3:45 pm – 4:30 pm
Session 6: Exposure to Diversity
Isabel Ruiz and Carlos Vargas Silva (Oxford, UK)
“The Mental Health Impact of Election Results:
Responses of Natives and Migrants to the Brexit Vote”

Kim Knipprath and Maurice Crul (U. of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
“Exposure to Diversity in Urban Space and Stereotype Dispersion: A Survey Experiment”

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm
Final 7: Policy Implications
Victoria M. Esses (University of Western Ontario, Canada), Joanie Bouchard, Kate Choi, and Patrick Denise
“Public Attitudes Toward Immigrants and Immigration in The Time Of COVID-19: The Role of Individual and Collective Threat, National Identity, And International Worldview”

Pia Orrenius (Dallas FED, US) and Madeline Zavodny “Does Immigration Enforcement Attract Low-Skilled Native Workers?”

5:15 pm – 5:45 pm: Concluding remarks
Presentationof the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Annals by Thomas A.Kecskemethy. Concluding remarks.
6 pm (Paris time): Screening.

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Prevision-making at the Local level: Anticipating what’s Next (PLAN). Political decision-making in uncertain times: A socio-cognitive approach to the reopening of EU borders after the Covid-19 crisis

Anticipation is key to policy making (Tetlock et al. 2016). Yet, in uncertain times, the accumulated knowledge on prevision-making and political forecasting, largely built on historical data, becomes obsolete – creating additional challenges for the design and implementation of public policies.

The Coronavirus outbreak was neither anticipated by stakeholders nor predicted by professional forecasters. Geopolitical uncertainty at the supranational and national levels currently places subnational stakeholders in an unseen situation. Despite their limited visibility on the short- and long-run dynamics of international mobility, and their lack of prerogatives with respect to the regulation of migration, they bear responsibility for managing their consequences, and ensure the local provision of public services, as well as the well-being of their populations.

EU’s multi-level governance is tested to its limits[i] as the Union progressively lift travel restrictions.[ii] How will policy makers anticipate and manage the (un)intended consequences of the reopening of EU’s external borders? At the frontline of the unlockdown process[iii], how will French and British local stakeholders cooperate with supranational, national, and other local authorities? Will British and French authorities act in concert[iv], or independently[v]?

After weeks of travel bans, the reopening of international borders will be decisive. The PLAN project seizes this historical moment to shed new light on political decision-making. It offers a new perspective on future-oriented cognition through a longitudinal comparison of the social, economic, and cognitive resources used by policy makers to anticipate the (un)intended consequences of their decisions in times of uncertainty. By doing so, this project extends the literature on political forecasting and decision making in several fields, ranging from cognitive anthropology to neurosciences.

An interdisciplinary and cost-effective empirical design will bring objective evidence to the study of future-oriented cognition. To this end, the project relies on three sources of data. The online survey will record stakeholders’ previsions regarding: (1) political evolutions (predictions of the next European, national, and local election results – as baseline); (2) mobility (evolution of mobility and attitudes towards immigration and redistribution 12 and 24 months after the initial survey); (3) the (long-term) implications of the Covid-19 crisis for vulnerable populations, including migrants (cf. infra). Our ex post comparisons of stakeholders’ forecasts (at T0 and T+1) with objective administrative data (at T+1 and T+2) will generate a novel diagnosis regarding decision-making. These findings will be used to develop three resources, strategic to policy-making in uncertain times: (1) a virtual symposium enabling French and UK participants to learn from efficient oversees’ responses; (2) an online course on cognitive flexibility, tailored to the needs of local stakeholders; (3) an online forum favouring knowledge exchanges between policy makers and academics specialising in decision making, worldwide (cf. infra).

Fitting within the scope of the RA-COVID-19 call issued by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR), the PLAN project would make a key contribution to the research theme « Socio-economic dynamics and ethics ». Further, through its support, the ANR will propel the nascent collaboration between the University of Oxford in the UK and Sciences Po and the IC Migrations in France – a consortium uniquely positioned to further demonstrate how advances in contemporary sciences can contribute to better understand and support innovative policymaking.

[i] Cf. Virginie Guiraudon’s interview by U. Bellier, “Frontières ouvertes ou fermées ? Le point sur la situation dans les pays de l’UE”, Le Monde,20 May 2020.

[ii] Cf. “Communication from the Commission to the European parliament, the European Council and the Council on the second assessment of the application of the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU”, European Commission, 8 May 2020.

[iii] Cf. “Le Sénat vote une protection juridique des décideurs locaux durant l’état d’urgence”, Mediapart, 5 May 2020.

[iv] Cf. the joint statement between France and the UK, available at: https://www.gov.uk, 10 May 2020.

[v] Cf. “UK quarantine for travellers to now include French arrivals”, The Guardian, 15 May 2020.


To advance our understanding of the cognitive impacts of mobility on migrants and receiving societies, this transatlantic research network brings together social scientists and cognitive scientists.

International migration has emerged as a major global concern, not just because of its economic and political implications, but also fundamental questions that it raises about integration, assimilation, and social cohesion. The angst and apprehensions have been amplified by episodes of violence manifest in highly visible acts of terrorism on the one hand, and prejudice inflicted on migrants on the other. While most migration scholars tend to have a normatively positive attitude towards mobility, wider social attitudes are much more ambivalent – but, to date, we have little understanding of the cognitive implications of international migration, either on the migrants or the society they move into. This network will develop an interdisciplinary research agenda on this vital issue.