Managing Migration with Stories? The IOM “i am a migrant” Campaign

de Jong, Sara and Dannecker, Petra (2017). Managing Migration with Stories? The IOM “i am a migrant” Campaign. Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, XXXIII(1) pp. 75–101.



This article offers an analysis of the aim, audience, form and content of the “i am a migrant” campaign of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM). We suggest that the campaign directs public opinion in Western ‘host countries’. We furthermore propose that the campaign’s website as a platform for migrants’ voices is not antithetical to the mission of the IOM to manage migration according to a logic of productivity and rationality, but rather a logical extension of it. We show that the migrant narratives presented not only confirm, but also disrupt the assumed naturalness of migrants’ strong ties with their countries of origin, frequently underpinning established policy on the migration-development nexus.

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