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Media – Migration – Politics

Discursive Strategies in the Current Czech and Slovak Context

by Lucia Spálová (Author) Peter Mikuláš (Author)
Monographs 248 Pages

Summary

The issue of increasing migration is still relevant even after years of international efforts to address and stabilize the socio-economic increase in migration in the European context. The media are still the main source of information on distant topics, including the migration crisis, and are a mediator of people's access to social reality. Media discourses about migrants are essential for the public to form implicit attitudes towards them and can thus negatively influence the process of integration of refugees in the EU and contribute to strengthening prejudices among citizens. The publication presents a transdisciplinary view of the issue in the Trans-European context, i.e. in an area that has historically served as a buffer zone of migratory pressures.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the authors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1 Crisis and Its (Re)presentation: A Topic of Migration in Czech and Slovak Traditional vs. Digital Media
  • 1.1 Czech and Slovak media landscape
  • 1.2 Attitudes towards migration and media
  • 1.3 Migration as topic in the Slovak and Czech media context
  • 2 Between the “White Skin” and “Black Attires”: Analysis of Narration about the So Called Migration Crisis in Politics and Media in the Czech Republic
  • 2.1 Narration about the so called migration crisis in politics and media
  • 2.2 Fantasy of sovereignty
  • 2.3 Fantasy of bestiality
  • 2.4 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 3 Anti-modern and Anti-liberal Narratives in Public Presentation of Czech Political Parties. Historical Sources of Hate Speech within the Migration Crisis Framework
  • 3.1 Nativism as concept – operationalization
  • 3.2 Anti-modern and anti-liberal legacies in (East-)Central Europe
  • 3.3 Czech nativist discourse and the migration issue
  • 3.4 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 4 Czechness and Othering Others: From Anti-Germanism to the Advent of Anti-Islamism
  • 4.1 Czechness by dominant mythology and framing “Others”
  • 4.2 Breaking myths about civil society after 1989
  • 4.3 Czechness and the advent of islamophobia (2001–2005)
  • 4.4 The ultranationalist scene – the case of Národní strana
  • 4.5 Changing media discourse
  • 4.6 Voices from the political mainstream
  • 4.7 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 5 Nationalism and Xenophobia in the Political Communication of Far Right in Czechia and Slovakia: A Case Study of Freedom and Direct Democracy and People’s Party Our Slovakia
  • 5.1 Objectives, methods, and structure of the chapter
  • 5.2. Conceptualisation of the far right
  • 5.3 Analysis of the parties
  • 5.3.1 SPD
  • 5.3.1.1 The concept of nation and patriotism
  • 5.3.1.2 Relationship to ethnic and social minorities
  • 5.3.1.3. Relationship with political groups, elites, political and constitutional order
  • 5.3.1.4 Attitudes towards the European Union
  • 5.3.2 The ĽSNS
  • 5.3.2.1 The concept of nation and patriotism
  • 5.3.2.2 Relationship to ethnic and social minorities
  • 5.3.2.3. Relationship with political groups, elites, political and constitutional order
  • 5.3.2.4 Attitudes towards the European Union
  • 5.3.3 Data analysis and comparison
  • 5.4 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 6 Position of The People’s Party Our Slovakia in the Party System in the Light of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic’s Ruling Turning Down the Party’s Dissolution
  • 6.1 Role of the judiciary in assessing the activities of political parties in Slovakia in theory and praxis
  • 6.2 Brief political history of the ĽSNS and its electoral performance in 2009–2019
  • 6.3 ĽSNS on the prankster
  • 6.4 ĽSNS as a wanted bride?
  • 6.5 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 7 SPD and the Thematization of Migration in the Run–up to the European Elections (Based on Facebook Posts and TV Appearances in Election Debates)
  • 7.1 SPD electoral base
  • 7.2 The SPD and the thematization of migration in TV debates before the European elections (focusing on the analysis of argumentation strategies)
  • 7.3 Analysis of argumentation strategies in television pre-election debates on TV Nova (9 May 2019 and 22 May 2019)
  • 7.4 Analysis of argumentation strategies in televised pre-election debates with representatives of the SPD on Czech Television (16 May 2019 and 23 May 2019)
  • 7.5 Analysis of argumentation strategies in televised pre-election debates with representatives of SPD on TV Barrandov (21 May 2019 and 22 May 2019)
  • 7.6 SPD and the thematization of migration in Facebook posts before the European Parliament elections
  • 7.6.1 Islam / Islamization
  • 7.6.2 Immigration
  • 7.6.3 Migrants
  • 7.6.4 Immigrant culture
  • 7.6.5 Foreign policy
  • 7.7 SPD and the fight against immigration
  • 7.7.1 Visual depiction of immigrants
  • 7.8 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 8 Semantic Maps and Social Perception of Migration
  • 8.1 Qualitative analysis of the media discourse on migration in the context of the EU in the period 2017–2019 – semantic maps, discourse analysis
  • 8.2 Sentiment analysis of the media discourse on migration in the monitored Czech and Slovak media in the period 2018–2020
  • 8.3 Conclusions of the chapter
  • 9 Inclusive Strategies on Migration – Social Advertising
  • 9.1 Migration as a topic of social campaign in the non-profit sector1
  • 9.2 Migration as a topic in critical artistic reflections
  • 9.3 Case study Three migrants in a boat (not to mention the smuggler) – Petko Dourman / Art & Tech Days festival2
  • 9.4 Conclusions of the chapter
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Series index

Introduction

The issue of increasing migration is still relevant even after years of international efforts to address and stabilize the socio-economic increase in migration in the European context. At the same time, the media are still the main source of information on distant topics, including the migration crisis, and are a mediator of people’s access to social reality. Media discourses about migrants are essential for the public to form implicit attitudes towards them and can thus negatively influence the process of integration of refugees in the EU and contribute to strengthening prejudices among citizens.

The publication presents a transdisciplinary view of the issue of migration in the Trans-European context, i.e. in an area that has historically served as a buffer zone of migratory pressures. The authors identify existing discourses from various perspectives, which complete the media image on this topic: the perception of “Generation Y” is confronted with the identified discourses of political subjects. In the first wave of migration (2015) the political communication strategy of security risk and cultural threat was dominant in the international media context, in the second wave (2016, 2017) the discourse of migration management was promoted and in the last period (in the third wave – from 2018) an alternative concept of “effective solidarity” it appears in Visegrád Group (or Visegrád Four, namely Czech republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) countries, to which the publication pays special emphasis.

A topic of migration is usually solved depending on the regions of the world, where some authors (e.g., Brown and Foot, 1994) focus specifically on Asia, Ferreira (2019) to southern European countries (Spain, Italy), etc. Our interest is in the Central European area, which is not addressed in any of the currently available publications of monograph nature. In addition to focusing on the world region, a professional view of the topic is also essential. In this respect, the existing literature deals with migration as a globalization process balancing coverage of Western and non-Western regions (de Haas, Castles and Miller, 2020), presenting the introduction looks at the phenomenon of international human migration – both legal and illegal – and offers an objective stance on the topic, and its benefits and challenges (Koser, 2016), mobility in the context of migration (Champion, Cooke and Shuttleworth, 2017), labour market aspects (Rye and O’ Reilly, 2020), employment, stage in the life course, quality of life, societal engineering, violence and persecution, and the role of culture (Boyle, Halfacree and Robinson, 2017), and so on. None of these publications deals with the aspect ←11 | 12→of the perception of migration and migrants through digital, especially social media. We also offer a transdisciplinary approach in the fields of political science, psychology, sociology and media studies. In this respect, our publication is a premiere and goes beyond the regional targeting of the Central European area, namely Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The issue of migration received increased attention in 2015, when Europe became a target for an unprecedented number of refugees from Africa and Asia. This fact was also reflected by the media, both traditional or mainstream, as well as digital. So in the opening chapter titled Crisis and its (re)presentation: a topic of migration in Czech and Slovak traditional vs. digital media, we provide an explanation of the media representation of this phenomenon, proceeding on the basis of exact data of media monitoring. We also provide an insight into the issues of the Czech and Slovak media space, focusing specifically on its specifics and parallels with abroad.

The so-called “migration wave” (which is a highly connotative and mythological expression per se) took place in the environment of societal communication which differs significantly from the forms and architecture of communication established during the twentieth century. The realm of media, respectively journalistic production, has been strongly influenced by digitalization. If we focus our perspective on changes brought by the digitalization of journalism, we can say that the main transformation made by the usage of digital ways of production, distribution and accumulation of information leads to a divided society. In this perspective, the chapter titled Between the “white skin” and “black attires”: Analysis of narration about the so-called migration crisis in politics and media in the Czech Republic aims to bring theoretical tools for analyzing media and political representation in the Czech Republic – aiming at the “cores” of narration and usage of language in Czech context.

In the last decade, the Czech nativists have continually strengthened their position in domestic politics. The electoral successes of challenger parties Public Affairs (Věci veřejné) (2010), Dawn of Direct Democracy (Úsvit přímé demokracie) (2013), and Freedom and Direct Democracy (Svoboda a přímá demokracie) (2017) re-established the extreme right and nativist actor in Parliament. Furthermore, after 2013, the newly elected President Miloš Zeman took xenophobic and Islamophobic stances and became the most important nativist actor in Czech public discourse. The chapter titled Anti-modern and anti-liberal narratives in public presentation of Czech political parties. Historical sources of hate speech within the migration crisis framework begins with a presentation of the theoretical framework for the analysis of nativism. Later, the chapter discusses the anti-modern and anti-liberal historical legacies influencing the political ←12 | 13→debate in the East-Central Europe (ECE) region thus continuing a “culture war” in the region and individual states between the “modern cosmopolitans” and “counter-cosmopolitans.” In the second part of the chapter, we present the case study focused on the development and strengthening of the Czech nativist camp after 2010, and, above all, after the outbreak of the migration crisis in 2015.

The fourth chapter, titled Czechness and othering others: from anti-germanism to the advent of anti-islamism, aims to map the national exclusivist character of the Czech national identity in its development from the nineteenth century until the emergence of islamophobia in the public sphere shortly after the spectacular terrorist attacks in the United States (further referred to as “9/11”). Firstly, the dominant historical narrative of “Czechness” founded on anti-German mythology is introduced. Second, the Czech national identity in relation to Others during the national awakening in the nineteenth century, interwar Czechoslovakia, the Second World War (WWII) and communist Czechoslovakia is revealed. Concretely, as the most significant “Othering others” over this long period we have identified anti-Germanism and followed – to a lesser extent – by anti-Semitism and, in the aftermath of WWII, by anti-Slovakism. Third, in the post-1989 era, Czechness in relation to changing Others is reflected stressing anti-Germanism, anti-Gypsyism and, due to globalization, reflecting also other groups, such as the Vietnamese. Fourth, the advent of Islamophobia in the period shortly after 9/11 (2001–2005) is investigated and rising islamophobia is manifested in three examples: the rhetoric of mainstream right-wing politicians, the extremist National Party (Národní strana) and on the rising power of Islamophobic voices from 2005 onwards on the internet.

In the fifth chapter, titled Nationalism and xenophobia in the political communication of far right in Czechia and Slovakia: a case study of Freedom and Direct Democracy and People’s Party Our Slovakia, we focus on the phenomenon of extremism. The recent European Parliament elections, which took place in the last week of May 2019, were marked, among other things, by fears of increased support for far-right political parties. Although attention was paid mostly to parties such as the French National Rally (Rassemblement national) led by Marine Le Pen, the Italian Northern League (Lega Nord) with Matteo Salvini at its helm, or the Dutch Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid) led by Geert Wilders, the issue of far-right parties’ success in European elections was no less interesting in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the Czech Republic, it was mainly Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy that made the headlines; it started its campaign on 25 April 2019 by holding a rally in the centre of Prague; speakers at the rally included the above-mentioned Le Pen, Salvini, and Wilders, which made it apparent that the Freedom and direct democracy ←13 | 14→(Svoboda a přímá demokracie, SPD) is openly joining the programme-ideological family of these political parties (see also Charvát and Maškarinec, 2020). In Slovakia, recent years saw the rise of the Kotleba – People’s Party of Our Slovakia (Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko, ĽSNS) party, which gained a leading position in this part of the political spectrum. The party was not only able essentially to defend its 2016 electoral result in the February 2020 national parliamentary elections, but it even increased its representation in the National Council (while in 2016 the party was assigned 14 seats for 8.04 percent of the vote, four years later 17 parliamentary seats were assigned for 7.97 percent of the vote).

The topic of extremism is discussed also in the sixth chapter titled Position of the People’s Party Our Slovakia in the party system in the light of the Supreme court of the Slovak Republic’s ruling turning down the party’s dissolution. It deals with the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic on April 29, 2019, which rejected the motion filed by the Slovak Prosecutor General to dissolve the ĽSNS, and with its impact on the ĽSNS position in the Slovak party system. ĽSNS has been characterized as a far-right, xenophobic, populist and nationalist party with neofascist features, praising the Slovak State (a Nazi puppet state existing in 1939–1945) and strongly opposing any migration. The court’s judgement was praised by the ĽSNS representatives arguing that it officially approved the democratic character of the party. It also opened space for possible reconsideration of relations of some of the other parties in the Slovak party system. The chapter will analyse the position of ĽSNS in the party system after the court’s judgement, and perceptions of other party system actors. The analysis is based on the data from official party documents, statements from party representatives, confrontations of positions on key issues as well as each party’s self-defined challenges.

The seventh chapter is titled SPD and the thematization of migration in the run–up to the European elections (based on Facebook posts and TV appearances in election debates) and focuses on the analysis of the thematization of the discourse on migration of the Czech political party Freedom and Direct Democracy in the run-up to the European Parliament elections in the Czech Republic in 2019. The pre-election rhetoric of the SPD party, which is described by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic as a “xenophobically toned entity” and which won two MEPs in these elections, is a subject to analysis in two ways. The first part is devoted to the breakdown of argumentation strategies of SPD leaders in televised election debates, with a special focus on the elements of misleading argumentation. Non-compliance with the so-called information quality criteria is also taken into account. In the second part, we focus on how the topic of migration was discussed on the Facebook profile of the SPD chairman Tomio ←14 | 15→Okamura. The anti–immigration discourse evident from the individual posts can be divided into six thematic groups, which are intertwined. These include Islam/Islamization, immigration, migrants, immigrant culture, foreign policy, SPD. Finally, the chapter deals with the visual depiction of migrants.

In the eight chapter, we focus on understanding the handling of the topic of migration in terms of sentiment. Our approach is based on machine sentiment data obtained by standardized tools of media analysis, but we also offer authorial research of sentiment on the topic, based on the application of psycho-semantic methods. In the final part of the book (Inclusive strategies on migration – social advertising), we will provide an insight into the hitherto final discourse on migration, which we refer to as inclusive. We focus on third sector organizations that are responsible for significant improvement of the presentation of migration. We will be based primarily on the media presented outputs of these organizations, which are to be obtained by standard media monitoring.

The publication should help the reader to orientate in the issues set in a specific time and space, but with potential overlaps in the whole of Europe, even in the global environment. A balanced professional approach to the researched topic of migration is complemented by analyses of inclusive media and artistic strategies in the field of migration in civic mobilization, which create a counterpoint to the discourse of exclusion and open up space for further public discussion.

Details

Pages
248
ISBN (PDF)
9783631874356
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631858776
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631874530
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631862759
DOI
10.3726/b19495
Language
English
Publication date
2022 (April)
Tags
Migration management Political discourse of migration Migration strategies Social responsibility Public policy
Published
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2022. 248 pp., 32 fig. col., 3 fig. b/w, 5 tables.

Biographical notes

Lucia Spálová (Author) Peter Mikuláš (Author)

Lucia Spálová – Associate Professor at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia. Her research centers on media studies, the social responsibility of media, and the effectiveness of persuasion techniques in digital communication. Peter Mikuláš – Associate Professor at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia. His research concerns intersections between marketing and media communication, on celebrity culture, and the creation and analysis of new genres in audiovisual media.

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Title: Media – Migration – Politics