New neighbours or a security threat? The role of local stories in anti-asylum seeker centre mobilization in the Netherlands
By Iris Beau Segers, Department of Media and Communication
This article addresses the underexplored role of local storytelling in informing mobilization against asylum seeker centres in the Netherlands. In doing so, it summarizes the preliminary results of an in-depth qualitative study of an anti-asylum seeker centre protest movement in the neighbourhood Beverwaard in the city of Rotterdam. Based on 28 interviews with different stakeholders (citizens, local politicians, civil servants and social workers), a story-based thematic qualitative analysis inductively identified three important storylines (identity, voice and materiality) that played a key role in mobilization against the AZC in the local space. This article will discuss two concrete examples of how stories about voice and identity informed mobilization against a local asylum seeker centre based on grievances, as well as political opportunity structures. As such, this article expands currently dominant perspectives on anti-immigration mobilization that largely focus on broader macro factors such as radical right party politics and socio-economic deprivation by drawing attention to the ways in which bottom-up storytelling practices inform processes of anti-asylum seeker centre mobilization.
Segers, Iris B. (2019), New neighbours or a security threat? The role of local stories in anti-asylum seeker centre mobilization in the Netherlands, International Communication Gazette