229 Whose Knowledge Counts? Expert and Lay Narratives in Political Debate on Immigration

Friday, July 14, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
It has long been observed that there is a gap between technocratic or ‘expert’ narratives of immigration dynamics, and the way immigration is perceived and debated in more popular or ‘lay’ settings. Experts – whether in research institutions or technocratic agencies at international or domestic level (for example the European Commission or OECD) – tend to extol the economic virtues of labour migration. By contrast, the popular media, many political parties and large sections of the public are anxious about the impacts of immigration. In many European countries this gap appears to have become more acute over the past few years, and was most clearly manifested in the 2016 EU referendum campaign in the UK. This panel explores how the dynamics and impacts of immigration are framed in public debates, and the role of different types of knowledge in such constructions. It considers the factors shaping popular perceptions of, and narratives around, immigration. And it reflects on the apparent decline of deference for expertise and evidence in immigration policy debates. It brings together an international panel of sociologists and political scientists at different career stages.
Randall Hansen
Discussant :
Randall Hansen
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