Dr Ilka Vari-Lavoisier

ilka vari lavoisier web

Research Affiliate

Dr Ilka Vari-Lavoisier holds a BA in Political Science (Science Po, Aix-en-Provence), a joint master’s degree in Social Sciences (ENS/EHESS, Paris), and a PhD in Sociology from the École Normale Supérieure de Paris. As a Procter Fellow at Princeton University (2013 – 2015) and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (2015 – 2017), Ilka further developed her expertise on mobility (visit her website for more information). She joined COMPAS, at the University of Oxford, in 2018.

Ilka is currently the principal researcher on the PLAN project, led by Virginie Guiraudon (CEE) at Sciences Po (France), in collaboration with Jacqueline Broadhead (GEM/COMPAS) at Oxford (UK). She is also a fellow of the IC Migrations and a research associate at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (DIAL research centre), in Paris.

At Oxford, Ilka is affiliated with the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) and the Sociology Department. As a SAME affiliate, she develops innovative research methods, based on digital tools. She runs a video training workshop series, in collaboration with Dr Will Allen, and co-organises events for the Migration and Mobility Network. Since 2020, Ilka also provides lectures on research methods for the Department for Continuing Education. Her teaching is based on her extensive experience in transnational research design, developed through her participation in multi-method and multi-sited projects across four continents (Africa, North America, Asia, Europe).

To study the impact of international migration, at the economic, political, and psychological levels, Ilka has developed collaborations with researchers from various disciplines. She currently pursues an interdisciplinary research agenda at the crossroads of the social sciences and the cognitive sciences, to better understand the most profound implications of mobility for sending and receiving societies. In 2017, she launched the Cognition & Migration project, which received funding from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Oxford, the IC Migrations, and the FMSH in France (visit http://cogmig.eu for more information). This initiative led to the publication of a special volume in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, co-edited with Susan T. Fiske, Professor of Psychology at Princeton University.


2021 “Making Sense of One Another in Crossing Borders: Social Cognition and Migration Politics“ special issue, co-edited with Susan T. Fiske, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (under press)

2021 “Forecasting under uncertainty: How networks composition shape future-oriented cognition”, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (under press)

2021 « Les modèles voyageurs de l’industrie du développement confrontés à l’épreuve des contextes », special issue co-edited with Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan, Revue internationale des études du développement, volume 1, Issue 248.

2020 “Minds on the move: Crossing disciplines to shed new light on human cognition”, WIREs Cognitive Science, Volume 12, Issue 1.

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.