Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

For more information about the Structure and Objectives of the Glossary, click here...)

Polyphony is a musical metaphor which emphasizes similar, but not identical aspects of diversity as multiperspectivity. Russian philosopher and literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin (1981) introduced the metaphor to literary studies, in order to describe forms of narrative discourse that include a wide range of voices and perspectives in representations of fictional worlds. Without using the word, opera singer Placido Domingo, a prominent supporter of the “New Narrative for Europe” initiative by José Manuel Durão Barroso, then President of the European Commission, in 2013, transferred the musical idea of polyphony to his vision of Europe. Domingo compared Europe to a grand opera and symphony, or an orchestra and choir whose members have learned to “listen more carefully” and “adjust to each others’ voices.” The Cross Talk events of the OPPORTUNITIES project seek to introduce polyphony to discourses on migration by making sure that not only narratives on migration (i.e., accounts by politicians or other public figures), but also stories of migration (i.e., testimonials and life stories of migrants and refugees) are heard in debates on immigration and integration.

⇢ see also Agency, Cross Talk, Diversity, Multiperspectivity

References and further reading:

Bakhtin, Mikhail M. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M Bakhtin, edited by Michael Holquist. Trans. by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin, TX and London: University of Texas Press.

Barroso, José Manuel Durão. 2013. “A New Narrative for Europe.” European Commission. URL:

Domingo, Placido. 2013. “Plácido Domingo Delivers Message to New Narrative for Europe Debate.” Youtube. URL:

Category: A, C

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

[CG / RS]