Research Fellow & BRIDGES Assistant Coordinator
Lucas Garcés Ramos
This Working Paper analyses the interplay of migration narratives as they traverse the media, politics, and policymaking arenas in Spain. More specifically, it examines how narratives on migration circulate within the mass media and the political debate and subsequently influence policymaking processes.
To do so, it focuses on three case studies: the European migration crisis in 2015 and the EU relocation scheme; the Ukrainian refugees after the start of the war in 2022; and the crisis of the rescue boat Aquarius in the Mediterranean in 2018.
Results point to a common pattern of decoupling between the communicative sphere (media and political narratives) and the coordinative sphere (policymaking narratives) in the three cases. Yet, this does not mean that policymaking on migration is not affected by narratives. However, these are not so related to the specific events, but to the master narratives that have been present in all the governments (be them left-wing or centre-right oriented) increasingly influenced by a securitarian turn.
On the other hand, there is a trend to produce more technocratic narratives based on facts as we come closer to the policymaking sphere and we move away from the media debates which are more dominated by lay narratives oriented to the wider public.