‘It is a crisis but at the same time it is not a crisis.’ Analysis of the positioning of civil society organisations in Athens towards the migration crisis discourse.

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Little is known about civil societies position regarding the migration crisis discourse and it is proven that their efforts regarding migration management is relevant for understanding the functioning of the migration crisis discourse. The migration crisis discourse is understood as strong tool to legitimize certain policies and strategies. It suggests a threat of mobility towards Europe, hence endangering Europe’s prosperity and peace legitimizing efforts that meet this issue with strict border management. Civil society actors are embedded within the migration crisis discourse and therefore urged to position themselves regarding the migration crisis discourse. In this research, efforts are made to design a conceptual framework bringing together different kinds of literature assisting the understanding of linkages of civil societies positions (complementing, reforming, opposing and transforming) regarding the discourse and their ways to legitimize these positions (securitization, humanitarianism, Human Rights, rationality and solidarity). This conceptual framework is applied to data collected by the execution of fieldwork in four civil society organizations within Athens, Greece. Despite their limited political power, civil society practitioners can reform and transform the migration crisis discourse by reappropriating the meaning and by the creation of alternative realities, in which embedded inequalities of the migration crisis discourse are challenged. Keywords: civil society, migration crisis, discourses, mobility.
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