Dr Georg Löfflmann from the University of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies was the keynote speaker at a recent conference in Mexico City held as part of the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect: Policy Incubator project.
The Mexico event used the theme of migration as a way of exploring how young people can challenge narratives and influence public policy more broadly.
In his address, a public lecture held in the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, Dr Löfflmann introduced the University’s Border Narratives project. Border Narratives is a three-year research project led by Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams which aims to understand in rich detail the views which EU citizens hold about migration and border security.
Dr Löfflmann said: “The aim of Border Narratives is to open up a forum for citizens to describe in their own words what they thing about migration and border security, so that their views can be included in the political debate.
“It’s important because in recent years the EU has relied on public opinion, as revealed in polls and surveys, to justify stricter migration controls and stronger border security – but these only give a very limited bandwidth of popular attitudes.
“We need policymakers to include the full range of voices and bring people back into this debate. The only way to find political solutions to complex problems is to have a conversation.”
The Policy Incubator programme aims to develop a new generation of young social activists in the USA, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Dr Löfflmann’s address was part of a three-day workshop organised by the British Council with the goal of supporting the participants to create a communication strategy aimed at challenging existing narratives, and equipping them with the tools to influence public policy.
Dr Löfflmann added: “This workshop was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the ‘Border Narratives’ project, facilitate public engagement on migration and border security, and explore partnerships with emerging leaders and stakeholders at the intersection of government, private sector, community outreach, and academic research.”
14 March 2018
Watch an interview with Georg Löfflmann about the Policy Incubator event here: https://www.facebook.com/BritishCouncilMexico/videos/10156203042889176/
Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick