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The European refugee crisis: organizational responses and communication strategies

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Communication Management

Editors: James Pamment (Lund U), Alina Dolea (Bucharest U), Diana Ingenhoff (Fribourg U)

In 2015, Europe faced an unprecedented crisis of hundreds of thousands of refugees forced to leave their homes because of war and/ or persecution. This resulted in a political crisis for the European Union and its members, with conflicts arising within and between countries over their willingness and capabilities for humanitarian assistance.

The communications aimed at these refugees and migrant groups reflected those political conflicts, typically asserting negative images, abrupt policy changes or mixed messages in a bid to make countries less attractive as safe-havens for migrants in need. Yet, this contradicts the burgeoning debates into public diplomacy, nation brands and place brands, which over the past 20 years have shaped how countries seek to manage their overseas image in order to attract potential tourists, investors, businesses and students.

This special issue of the Journal of Communication Management seeks contributions that explore the contradictions emerging from an international actor’s urge to attract and the urge to repulse in conjunction with the refugee crisis. We are interested in studies that explore the relationship between public diplomacy, nation brands and the negative messaging targeted at migrants. How do these different parts of a country’s image and messaging fit together? What institutional and organizational factors shaped these activities? In what ways did different actors attempt to use communication strategies and tactics to manage the situation via the media, public opinion, political systems, etc. In what ways do these activities strengthen or tarnish a country’s reputation?

We particularly welcome in-depth analysis of the refugee crisis and the above mentioned related topics, and that explore new empirical and/or theoretical avenues for better understanding these issues. We also welcome studies that further a “communication management” perspective upon the topic, particularly if such insights can be of relevance to practitioner communities.

Manuscripts should be between 6000 and 8000 words length. See full author guidelines -

Submissions must be made via the journal’s website and select the special issue.


February 28, 2017 – deadline for submission of manuscripts

March 31, 2017 – reviews sent to authors

July 30, 2017 – revised articles submitted by authors