School of Transnational Governance

Depolarising the Migration Debate: Understanding Attitudes to Migration and Developing Effective Communication Strategies

Programme Start Date



24-25 September 2020

Delivery mode



Badia Fiesolana
Past training, registrations closed

Programme Description

Immigration is a controversial issue that is polarizing societies. The rising salience of the immigration issue has evoked heated debates and the rise of hate speech. Additionally, it has also driven dissatisfaction with political elites and migrant advocates who are often perceived as out of touch with citizens’ concerns about immigration and diversity. As a result, we are facing a growing uncertainty about how to best communicate about immigration-related issues and how to reach out to segments of society that might be sceptical of immigration. Major stakeholders, institutions and organisations are now addressing this issue proactively. Governance actors working in the field of migration, however, are in need of more opportunities to develop practical skills to depolarize the debate. To foster social cohesion, narratives are needed that neither alienate affected migrants, nor people who have concerns about immigration. The Executive Training developed and strengthened communication skills by providing in-depth insights into the factors that decisively shape how people perceive and react to immigration and ethno-cultural diversity. Subsequently, it taught participants to identify and apply productive communications approaches towards migration-related issues in challenging contexts.


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