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Past Event

Societal change or the scale of immigration? How the British press has influenced public concern about migration, 1997-2015

About the Speaker


William Allen is a Research Officer at the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS) and The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. He is also a DPhil Candidate in Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), and a Mann Senior Scholar at Hertford College. His research focuses on public opinion about migration, media effects, and how scientific knowledge is communicated and used in policy and public debate—particularly through data visualisations. He is currently PI on the project ‘Messaging Mobility: Exploring and Creating New Narratives about Migration and Human Movement in a Changing World’, funded by the Toyota Foundation-Japan.


Migration remains high on policy and public agendas across Europe. The political implications of human mobility manifest themselves in many ways, including through shifts in voting patterns and policy responses to perceived ‘crises’. This talk considers mass media both as important venues of public and political debate about migration and as potential sources of information that shape how people perceive the issue. First, it draws upon linguistic analysis of over 200,000 articles mentioning migration-related terms in nine UK national newspapers between 1997-2015. Then, it links this analysis to levels of concern about migration among the British public, revealing that mentioning either sociocultural aspects or the scale and pace of migration is correlated with higher levels of public concern. The talk concludes with discussion about the role of information in shaping public perceptions about migration given political polarisation and expanding forms of digital communication.

This event is part of a seminar series:

Michaelmas Term 2017 Seminar Series: The Geopolitical Implications of Global Population Change

Michaelmas Term 2017 Seminar Series The Geopolitical Implications of Global Population Change Thursdays at 14:00 – 15:30 Seminar Room: 66 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PR Convener: Dr George Leeson We are inviting a cross-disciplinary group of speakers ranging through migration, international security, sustainable growth, food security, cities and climate change and I should&nb...

Event Details

02 November 2017 14:00 - 15:30


Oxford Institute of Population Ageing

66 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PR