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Refugee crisis – casus of Cottbus

Abstract

The fact that about 4000 immigrants are placed in Cottbus, situated 192 km from Poznań and 83 km from Zielona Góra, makes us feel it is necessary to analyze modus operandi of the entities legitimizing or delegitimizing the Open Door policy of the Chancellor Angela Merkel. To explain their position, political actors refer to the diverse narratives that Rolf Peter Sieferle classified as: the refugee narrative; a narrative recalling the demographic problem; a narrative referring to problems in the labor market and a lack of qualified employees; a narrative referring to the essence of multiculturalism. Difficulties in absorbing immigrants caused a discussion about fatigue both in political parties and in the media, but they showed the potential of social initiatives and movements, for example the organization “Future of the Fatherland”, led by Hans-Christoph Berndt. His views combined with the statements of Dietmar Woidke, the Prime Minister of Brandenburg, or Jörg Steinbach, the President of the Brandenburg University of Technology, reflect the diversity of the assessment of migration policy in a micro-scale.

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EU Refugee Crisis Impact on the European Labor Market

Abstract

The advent and increasing wave of refugees arrived through various channels in Europe last year produce anxiety both in the EU leadership and in the management and organization of European states. Assessing the impact on the local labor market, on the human resources available and on the cost of insertion on the labor market in the EU it is difficult to quantify at present as long as it is not known what will be the final number of these refugees, the level of training them, and not the least the desire for integration into the European system of life and work. Prospects for reducing the number of active population in the EU in the coming years and increasing the lifetime rate require management organizations to carry out careful studies and to analyze and find solutions to integrate the active refugees in the domestic workforce, to assess the increased level training costs and integration in the local organizational culture and, not the least, the impact on the effectiveness of performed activities.

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The International Humanitarian Response to the Refugee Crisis Along the Balkan Route in the View of Strategies of International Organizations

Abstract

Being one of the largest movements of displaced people through European borders since World War Two, the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016, tested the coordination of the states and international organizations, and as well as the strategies for response of the latter to such enormous fluxes of displaced people along the Balkan corridor. The quick on-time reaction of the specialized humanitarian international organizations made significant achievements by the international organizations in terms of humanitarian assistance for the refugees and support for the governments of the region. Their approach mainly sought to create a partnership with the governments of the Balkan route in handling the serious humanitarian challenges (with a different strategy compared to other experiences, mainly this time through providing assistance and protection to the refugees throughout the corridor of the refugee crisis), it showed how important is such coordination at the end, with an aim to avoid further human catastrophes along refugee routes, and to avoid major security repercussions for the countries of the region.

With a comparative approach, the paper analyzes the response of the international organizations in terms of the strategies they have applied along the Balkan human corridor and their new innovative approaches used in terms of the coordination with the local authorities and governments of the Balkan route. Different to previous forms of humanitarian interventions and dynamics of the refugee crisis (dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1990s), the roles of the international organizations along the Balkan human corridor following the Syrian war of 2015 and 2016 have shaped many innovative dimensions, including firstly their advising orientation and support for refugees and local authorities (mainly through providing help on legal issues). Apart from humanitarian activities for delivering direct aid, the major intergovernmental organizations (most of them operating under the umbrella of the UN) following the implementation of border controls from very beginning of the refugee crisis have been focused in supporting the local authorities as well as on regulating the flow of migrants. The strategies of response by the international organizations in the latest case of the Balkan human corridor notably shifted from the classical humanitarian dimension of their reactions. These strategies have played as well an important role in advising, and especially in developing a partnership with the local authorities capacity building and legal support for both local institutions and refugees. However, through the comparative approaches the paper identifies that there are different models of management roles played by the specialized international organizations in various countries of the Balkan route and its frontiers.

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Migration Discourse in Slovak Politics. Context and Content of Migration in Political Discourse: European Values versus Campaign Rhetoric

Abstract

The migration crisis has not only influenced the societies of Europe, their governments, and decisions taken by them but also affected the work of media. As soon as the migration crisis began to escalate in Europe, the old continent has continuously tried to cope with the influx of refugees from the war-threatened Middle East; not only individual statements of politicians and influential individuals but also communication flows themselves, which have created content and expanded context within networks, have become the center of interest. We can assume that in the previous months (especially in the case of the Slovak Republic), political and media discourses influenced societal and individual opinions and attitudes toward the migration crisis. The main aim of this article is to compare the various contents in the Slovak printed media in the context of the migration crisis. The dominant focus will be on analyzing media messages in the analyzed period in the context of creating political (media-based and electoral) discourse on the refugee crisis. We assume that over time, the main political discourse changed, and that the rhetoric of the main political actors also changed over time. The reason for this shift was the national election in March 2016.

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The Iconic Image in a Digital Age
Editorial Mediations over the Alan Kurdi Photographs

Abstract

This article investigates selected newspapers’ editorial mediations over contrasting perceptions regarding the significance of a controversial set of ‘iconic’ news photographs, namely images of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee, whose drowned corpse washed ashore in September, 2015. Specifically, this study examined individual editorial items, published by leading Danish, Canadian and British newspapers over a four-month period, engaging with and reflecting upon this imagery. Our analysis revealed several key deliberative features of editorial self-reflexivity, with three especially salient themes shown to be emergent across the coverage: a) instantaneousness and historical photographic precedents; b) social media’s perceived influence on photojournalism; and c) normative associations of affective qualities for this imagery. By elucidating these features of editorial self-reflexivity within a convergent digital media ecology, this article offers original insights into how and why the epistemic values governing visual communication are being reconsidered and redrawn under pressure from institutional imperatives.

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More Than Words?
A Test of the Effect of Emotionally Charged Photographs

Abstract

Studies of activism and political participation have shown increasing interest in the relationship between photographs and activism. Most contributions are premised on the assumption that photographs have an impact on opinions, knowledge, and/or mobilising motivations. However, such causalities are rarely documented, and when it comes to what is arguably one of the most central questions in the field of activism and participation studies, why some people act and participate, and others do not, there is a near total absence of systematic knowledge on the impact of photographs. Taking the 2015 refugee crisis as its case, this article addresses the effect of photographs on individual willingness to participate politically using an experimental survey. While the hypothesis was that the inclusion of photographs in a call for action should lead to increased willingness to participate, the results showed that adding photographs had no significant effect on individuals’ willingness to participate. A possible explanation for this is the timing of the survey, in December 2015. By then, the debates on the refugee crisis were surrounded by less uncertainty, and opinions had crystallised.

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A Refugee Crisis Without Refugees: Policy and media discourse on refugees in the Czech Republic and its implications

Abstract

Along with other Central and Eastern European counties, Czechia has invested significant effort in deterring refugees from entering the country during the ‘refugee crisis’. This article sheds light on the role of the media in legitimising anti-refugee policies by analysing the politicised discourse on refugees in 900 articles published in Czech newspapers between 2014 and 2016. The findings indicate that refugees were depicted as a security threat and an administrative burden partly imposed by the European Union. The article discusses the policy implications of depicting refugees in this way and thus broadens the literature on European narratives during the refugee emergency in Europe.

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The Myth of the Angry Voters: Parliamentary Election in Slovak Republic

Abstract

The recent parliamentary elections which took place in The Slovak Republic in March 2016 opened for many national and international commentators the bottled of demons from the past history of Slovakia. For the first time a Far right extremist political party entered into parliament and held seats there. They gained more than some standard political parties and also were not dubbed as the “black” horse of this election. As they were not measured by public opinion. The main purpose of this article is to analyze the fundamental purpose of voters that had elected this political party and on the other hand the main reason that has opened the parliamentary door to such a political entity that was not visible in the previous electoral periods or played any important role in the independence of Slovak republic. Our main assumption will be that which is taken from the media analysis before the parliamentary election and public opinion research. Our main variable from the external environment will be the migration refugee crisis and the rhetoric of political parties acting at national level. We can assume that this was one of the main reason for the entry of this political party within others which were “hidden” or covered by this crisis and were not mediatized in the media.

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‘Global’ Identity or the (Ir)Reducible Other: The Cultural Logic of Global Identity in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Man with the Twisted Lip

Abstract

After the Syrian civil war, deaths of those fleeing crisis areas have tragically become a regular news item. Not new to the world, however, such crises emerge from tensions between identity and difference as codified in international politics, whereby refugees and migrants become the Other and subject to unyielding universals, such as the law or narrow concepts of what is right. Indeed, the cultural logic of “global identities” informing the current refugee and migrant crisis seems recurrent, as exemplified in the recent cases of the Tamils from Sri Lanka and the Somalis. The cultural logic of global identity is also reflected in the popular nineteenth-century novella by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Man with the Twisted Lip, in which the main character disguises himself as a professional beggar to appeal to middle class values in order to incite their guilty consciences. Drawing on Ian Baucom, Marc Shell, and Jean-Joseph Goux, this article argues that the main character’s actions reflect and embody the cultural logic of the global politico-economy in late nineteenth century London. As such, Doyle’s novella illustrates the Derridean notion of hospitality by revealing that “identity and difference are mutually constitutive” (Baker 109) and offers insightful commentary on the current refugee and migrant crisis.

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