Conference Agenda

Panel 305: Migration post-'Crisis' - Identity, Contestation and Politics
Monday, 02/Sep/2019:
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Session Chair: Liudmila Mikalayeva, University of Freiburg
Location: Room 12.02


Issue Dialogue and Framing Strategies: the Case of Migration Policy in the German, Swiss, and Dutch Federal Election Campaigns

Olga Litvyak

Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

Recent research has challenged traditional approach to party competition stating that parties campaign on owned issues and downplay issues owned by their opponents. Empirical studies show that rather than talking past each other parties often trespass on their opponents’ issues and engage in issue dialogue. As external events reportedly contribute to issue engagement, migration issue in the light of recent migration crisis and increasing mobility within the EU serves as a perfect research case. Framing is a strategy that facilitates issue dialogue and allows parties to distinguish themselves through the way they talk about the issue. That is, how parties define the issue at stake, what justification or what result of the proposed policy solution do they promote. In my paper, I focus on framing strategies that parties adopt in electoral campaigns and analyse what factors influence the choice of specific framing strategy for migration issue. I propose a theoretical framework that includes four strategies: frame diffusion, frame trespassing, reframing, and silencing. In case of frame diffusion, parties preserve their traditional frames and adopt them towards a large set of issues, reframing unowned issues alongside party values and beliefs. Further, parties can engage not only in issue trespassing but also in frame trespassing, borrowing the frames of their opponents. Additionally, parties can simply reframe the issue at stake by coming up with a frame that does not correspond to their traditional frames or the frames of their counterparts. Finally, I argue that by not framing an issue parties pursue a silencing strategy that allows them to address an issue preserving ambiguity about the policy solutions. I expect that issue ownership, ideology and party type influence the choice of the strategy. In my paper, I test the framework in a comparative setting, exploring how parties frame migration in the recent federal election campaigns in Germany (2009, 2013), Switzerland (2011,2015), and the Netherlands (2012, 2017). The paper is based on content analysis of party manifestos and press releases coded according to an extended version of the Policy Frames Codebook (Boydstun and Gross 2014) and Comparative Agendas project issue coding scheme. Interviews with campaign managers complement the qualitative analysis of issue engagement and framing strategies.

Governing the Multicultural City: Trans-European City Networks Facing Austerity and Resurgent Nativism

Licia Cianetti

Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom

Ethnic minorities, old and new, tend to be concentrated in urban settings, making cities the primary sites of majority–minority encounter, adjustment, and contentious politics. This has spurred ‘great urban expectations’ among European academic and policy circles that cities hold the key to governing ethno-culturally diverse societies. These expectations are embodied in a number of trans-European networks of multicultural cities that incentivise city-to-city best practice exchanges. This article analyses the documents issued over time by these networks to understand how their expectations and the policy approaches they promote have changed, in particular in the context of growing nativism and austerity-driven budget cuts. The analysis shows that the networks, created as a response to Europe-wide anti-multiculturalist backlash and hit by the severity of austerity cuts to local budgets, have pragmatically adapted to this double challenge. As the networks reveal, European cities have strong incentives to reframe their integration policies away from issues of rights and towards issues of ‘social cohesion’ and economic advantage. While literature on multiculturalism and literature on austerity urbanism have largely discussed cities’ challenges separately, this article brings them together to show how the top-down (‘push’) and bottom-up (‘pull’) dynamics of rescaling integration policies to the urban level are shaped by interlocking nativism and austerity constraints.

The Impact of European Union Migration Policies in Southern European Countries: The Case of Spain

Arantza Gomez Arana

Birmingham City University

The current migration crisis in the Mediterranean has influenced the development of new European Union policies. From the use of the Navy to implement the EUNAVFOR Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean, to the training of Libyan coastguards, or the EU-Turkey agreement, the EU has designed policies that seem to fail at both avoiding migrants from reaching Europe and from drowning in the Mediterranean. The crisis of the Aquarius, in June 2018, showed a real possibility of a similar tragedy to the one in Lampedusa in 2013, which paradoxically, it was the catastrophe that brought the attention of the society to the migration crisis in the first place, and put pressure on the EU to develop policies that could avoid similar outcomes. While recent literature on the migration crisis focuses on the role of Italy and Greece, Spain is also considered both, a transit, and destination country for migrants from African countries and in particular from Morocco for a long period of time. This paper aims to critically analyse the conflicting responses from Europe to the migration crisis with a focus on the Spanish involvement (i.e the Aquarius). This analysis will critically discuss also how some NGOs such as “Open Arms” and other Spanish activists dedicated to the rescue of migrants in the sea, have been questioned from a legal point of view. Finally, this paper will discuss to what extent Spanish bilateral agreements with Morocco could have an impact on the migration crisis in the Strait of Gibraltar.