School of Social and Political Science

How do narratives impact migration issues in Europe?


Edinburgh researchers are analysing the production of migration narratives and what impact they are having on increasing polarisation and politicisation around migration issues in Europe.

BRIDGES is a Horizon 2020 project looking at the processes of migration narratives’ production and their impact on an individual and policymaking level.

The project, which began in March 2021, has now released its first video on how to bridge the gaps in the study of migration narratives, and new guidelines on how to include gender migration studies.

Christina Boswell, Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS), and part of the BRIDGES research consortium, features in the project’s new explainer video. Also part of the research consortium is Saskia Smellie, PhD researcher at SPS.

Bridging the gaps in the study of migration narratives

In the project’s first video, Christina and other experts from the BRIDGES consortium explain the research by answering three main questions:

  1. What does narrative mean?
  2. How are narratives on migration produced and re-produced in the media and policy arenas?
  3. And at the individual level?

Watch the video:


Other experts featured in the video are:

Bringing gender into projects on migration and narratives

BRIDGES has also shared guidelines on how to include gender in the analysis of migration narratives, which is now available to read on the website:

Guidelines on how to include the gender perspective in the analysis of migration narratives

The guidelines are co-authored by Berta Güell, Researcher at CIDOB and BRIDGES Assistant Coordinator, and Sònia Parella, Director of CER-Migracions and Member of the BRIDGES Gender Observatory.

They are one of the core tasks of the BRIDGES Gender Observatory, whose aim is to ensure the inclusion of this perspective throughout the project, from data-gathering and analysis to co-production and dissemination activities.

Since there is scarce literature on this topic, they may indeed be useful for any other project dealing with narratives or migration issues, and willing to include a gender and intersectional perspective as a cross-cutting feature of its activities.

Next steps

The video and guidelines are the first research and dissemination outputs of the project, which kicked off its activities in March 2021 and will be running until February 2024.

Over the next months, the BRIDGES team will be carrying out research on the production of migration narratives in media and social media in six different European countries, and on innovative strategies against exclusionary narratives.

Two Working Papers will also be released, setting the conceptual and analytical framework of the research and analysing the evolution of migration narratives from a historical perspective.

Stay up to date with the project

More about BRIDGES

'BRIDGES: Assessing the production and impact of migration narratives' is a project funded by the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and implemented by a diverse consortium of 12 universities, think tanks, research centres, cultural associations, and civil society organisations from all over Europe under the coordination of CIDOB.

The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.