Public narratives on human mobility: Countering technocratic and humanitarian refugee narratives with a "one-world" solidarity narrative

Mahendran, Kesi (2017). Public narratives on human mobility: Countering technocratic and humanitarian refugee narratives with a "one-world" solidarity narrative. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 27(2) pp. 147–157.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2304

Abstract

This article articulates a one-world narrative, which reconfigures human mobility in dialogical response to the ideational borders of the European Union. Fifty-two semi-structured interviews, in Scotland and Sweden, bring participants, ranging from people with refugee status to the generationally nonmobile, into dialogue with the integration ideals of the European Union. Within this ideational space, participants employ I-positional dialogical capacities such as “outsideness” and “multivoicedness” to articulate a postnational “one-world” solidarity narrative (OWN). OWN is revealed as distinct from a posthuman “one-earth” sustainability narrative, which was found to “border” and delimit mobility. Three dimensions of OWN, (a) borders as constructed; (b) citizen of the world; and (c) accidental nature of existence, together repoliticise depoliticised technocratic reasoning, culturalism, and the asymmetries of humanitarian narratives on refugees. In conclusion, articulating the public's dialogical capacities is key to moving beyond public opinion towards public dialogue on vexed political questions such as immigration.

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