Dr Ilka Vari-Lavoisier

ilka vari lavoisier

Research Affiliate

Ilka Vari-Lavoisier is a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC project HOMInG led by Paolo Boccagni, at the University of Trento. She is also a research associate at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (DIAL research centre) and a fellow of the IC Migrations (DYNAMICS researcher centre) in Paris. As a COMPAS Research Affiliate, she co-organises the termly Migration and Mobility Research Days, with Prof. Nicholas Van Hear and Dr. Lena Rose, as well as regular Early Career Development events for migration researchers, in conjunction with the Mobility Network.

Ilka has an extensive experience in interdisciplinary collaborations and transnational research design, developed through her participation in multi-method and multi-sited projects over four continents (Africa, America, Asia, Europe). Since 2007, she collaborated with researchers, from various disciplines, to study the impact of international migration, at the economic, political, and psychological levels. 

To better understand the implications of mobility, for sending and receiving societies, Ilka currently pursues an interdisciplinary research agenda at the crossroads of the social sciences and the cognitive sciences. In 2017, she participated in launching the Cognition & Migration project, which received funding from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Oxford (Nuffield College and Lady Margaret Hall), the Maison Française d’Oxford, the OxPo foundation and the IC Migrations in Paris (visit http://cogmig.eu for additional information). Expanding upon this, her current research focuses on concrete interventions promoting migrants’ integration in their countries of destination, with a specific interest in programmes aiming to facilitate verbal and non-verbal communication between healthcare providers, immigrants, and their support networks.

Ilka holds a B.A in Political Science (Science Po, Aix-en-Provence), a joint Master’s degree in Social Sciences (ENS/EHESS, Paris) and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the École Normale Supérieure de Paris. As a Procter Fellow at Princeton (2013-2015) and a Postdoctoral Fellow at UPenn (2015 – 2017), Ilka further developed her expertise on mobility (visit her website for more information).


2019 “Collective Thinking in the Field: Distributed Cognition in Large-Scale Qualitative Research”, with Paolo Boccagni, Milena Belloni, Sara Bonfanti, Aurora Massa, Luis-Eduardo Perez Murcia, Alejandro Miranda Nieto, Space and Society, 2019/4.

2019 “On the complexities of collaborative ethnography: Ethical and methodological insights from the HOMInG project” with Paolo Boccagni, Milena Belloni, Sara Bonfanti, Aurora Massa, Luis-Eduardo Perez Murcia, Alejandro Miranda Nieto, IMISCOE Briefs on Methodological, Ethical and Epistemological Issues, 2019/12.

2019 “Beyond Social Remittances: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Immaterial Circulations”, in The Routledge Handbook of Migration and Development, dir.: Ronald Skeldon and Tanja Bastia, Routledge Editions.

2018 “Corruption et mobilités transnationales. Les migrants, acteurs de changement ?”, in Transnationalisme économique, social et politique, dir.: Lisa Chauvet, Flore Gubert, Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Thibault Jaulin, DeBoeck editions.

2016 “Social Remittances and the Changing Transnational Political Landscape” with Thomas Lacroix and Peggy Levitt, Comparative Migration Studies, 4: 20.

2016 “The Economic Side of Social Remittances: How Money and Ideas circulate between Paris, Dakar, and New York”, Comparative Migration Studies, 4: 20.

2016 “Paris – Dakar – Bokidiawé  :  Retour  sur  une   aventure  collective transnationale”, with Flore Gubert, Sandrine Mesplé-Somps and Inssa Sané, Ethnographiques.org, n° 32.

2016 “Une invitation aux enquêtes transnationales. Retour sur le projet TIMME (Terrains Interdisciplinaires et Multi-sites : Migrations et Engagements)”, E- Migrinter, n° 14/2016

2015 “Stepping Back From Your Figures to Figure Out More: From Linguistic to Cognitive limits of Transnational Surveys” in Observing Protest from a Place: The World Social Forum in Dakar, dir.: Johanna Siméant, Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle & Isabelle Sommier, Amsterdam University Press.

2011 “Heurs  et  malheurs  des  chômeurs  créateurs  d’entreprises. De la complémentarité entre ethnographie et économétrie”, Terrains et Travaux, vol. 2/2011.