Risk and uncertainty are inherent in any decision-making procedure, but while a substantial body of work on the governance of international migration focuses on challenges posed to governance systems, we know remarkably little about the impact of risk and uncertainty on: (i) the cognitive biases of actors within migration governance systems; (ii) the susceptibility of these biases to change; (iii) the relationship between cognitive bias and broader questions of systemic resilience, vulnerability and adaptation and (iv) the similarities and differences in migration governance between major world regions. Each of these is a significant gap in our knowledge of international migration governance. To address this gap this project will focus on the context of decision to ask: what are the causes and consequences of the cognitive biases concerning risk and uncertainty held by actors in migration governance systems? The project will: (i) test the causes and consequences of the ‘frames’ held by actors in migration governance systems, specify the scope for these frames to change and to analyse the likely systemic effects of change on migration governance systems in four major world regions. (ii) develop a comparative regional analysis of the micro-political foundations of migration governance and their implications for system adaptation and change. (iii) significantly advance conceptual and methodological understanding of international migration governance through the use of concepts of systemic adaptation, vulnerability and resilience that bridge behavioural theories of choice with theories of institutional and organisational change. (iv) disseminate the results effectively through a range of appropriate outlets and through engagement with a range of users of the results of this work in academia, policy-making communities, NGOs and the wider public.
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