Europe’s riddle: Migration, community experiences and public opinion
Counterpoint examines the local experience of migration and integration across five European countries in light of the 2014-2015 migration crisis.
Our research in Sweden, Italy, France, Germany and the UK paints a rich, difficult, hopeful picture. But one that is not without risks. We spoke to newcomers to the community, to volunteers and policy-makers, to teachers and professionals working in housing and employment in order to get a 360-degree account of the experience of migration.
The aim of the project is to improve policy-making by providing an alternative picture to that which emerges in mainstream reporting and surveys on migration and integration; A picture that focuses on local contexts and communities and emerges as we accompany community members over 6 a month period through interviews and conversations.
The project has three goals:
- To develop a better understanding of what constitutes public opinion in the context of migration and immigration, and to understand what might account for shifts (in either direction). In this non-linear process what are the tipping points and relevant issues?
- To apply this knowledge to local communities and assess whether, and if so how, local public opinion is affected by national events and how this impacts on behaviour. How do local institutions (both formal and informal) shape the local and immediate experience of migration–for all parties?
- To identify the conditions that lead to socially beneficial practices and help local actors replicate them or scale them up.