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Who's Afraid of … Migration? A New European Narrative of Migration


Human mobility has changed profoundly since the onset of globalisation, with old patterns of south-north movement of male economic migrants being replaced by mixed flows of people moving because of a variety of needs and motivations. In Europe these changes have gone largely unnoticed and the discourse on migration has been conducted in a confused and contradictory way. Policies have swung between two poles: on one end the view of migrants as a problem rather than as an opportunity; on the other, the view of migrants as vulnerable people escaping poverty or persecution. Through the analysis of policies, juridical terminology, concepts and stereotypes, this paper proposes a three-step approach for a different narrative of migration to curb the political manipulation that, labelling migrants as a threat, is dangerously fuelling racism and discrimination towards “aliens”.

Paper produced within the framework of the New-Med Research Network, September 2015. Presented at the seminar on "Changing Migration Patterns and Migration Governance in the Mediterranean Region", organised in Rome on 18 December 2014 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the OSCE Secretariat.

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