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Talking Migration: Narratives of Migration and Justice Claims in the European Migration System of Governance


In the last few years, migration has been at the centre of attention of the European public and policymakers, sparking an unprecedented debate on responsibilities and rights. This Special Issue presents a collection of European case studies analysing narratives of migration and their embedded justice claims. It focuses on the way national newspapers have covered and discussed key political events related to European politics and migration dynamics between 2014 and 2018. The results reveal an increasing normalisation of extreme and anti-immigrant claims in all cases. The only rather frequent counter-narrative is ‘humanitarian’, yet, it predominantly depicts migrants as victims, hence denying their subjectivity and actorness. There is an important correlation between the debates on migration and the European Union, as the so-called ‘crisis’ has strengthened the political debate on the EU in European countries. All in all, the dominant narratives on migration embed a Westphalian understanding of justice (justice as non-domination), while little attention is devoted to cosmopolitan justice claims (justice ad impartiality) and, much less, to ‘subjectivised cosmopolitan justice claims’ (justice as mutual recognition).
Keywords: GLOBUS, migration, narratives, Europe, EUMSG, content analysis, discourse analysis, global justice