A basic human values approach to migration policy communication
Data & policy, 2020, Vol. 2, OnlineOnly
DENNISON, James, A basic human values approach to migration policy communication, Data & policy, 2020, Vol. 2, OnlineOnly - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/69641
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This article considers what types of strategic communication messaging regarding migration policy are likely to be more or less effective. To do so, the article summarizes the literature to, first, note the broadly postulated effectiveness of value-based messaging and, second, note how underdefined this concept remains. To overcome this shortcoming, I introduce Schwarz’s psychological theory of “basic human values” and use European Social Survey data to visualize the relationship between these values and attitudes to immigration. I argue that messaging with a value-basis that is concordant with that of its audience is more likely to elicit sympathy, whereas that which is discordant with the values of its audience is more likely to elicit antipathy. Given the value-balanced orientations of those with moderate attitudes to immigration, persuasive migration messaging should attempt to mobilize values of its opposition; that is pro-migration messaging should mobilize Schwarz’s values of conformity, tradition, security, and power, whereas anti-migration messaging should mobilize values of universalism, benevolence, self-direction, and stimulation. I then turn to an inventory of 135 migration communication campaigns provided by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. I show that few pro-migration campaigns contained value-based messaging, whereas all anti-migration campaigns did. Similarly, very few pro-migration campaigns included values besides “universalism” and “benevolence,” whereas anti-migration campaigns included values associated with both pro- and anti-migration attitudes. I visually demonstrate examples of each case before discussing ramifications for policy communication.
First published online: 15 December 2020
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/69641
Full-text via DOI: 10.1017/dap.2020.17
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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