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...)

Unlike the term migrant, the term figure of the migrant refers not to individuals, but to narrative representations of migrants in fictional and nonfictional discourses. Since the 1950s and 1960s, when several European countries first signed bilateral labor migration agreements, migration to Europe has changed significantly with respect to countries of origin and migrants’ motivations (for a comprehensive overview of the history of European migration since the midtwentieth century, see Bade 2003, Ch. 4–5; De Haas 2018, 5–12; Van Mol and De Valk 2016). These changes are also reflected in narrative representations of the figure of the migrant, with themes of fictions of migration ranging from earlier fictions of assimilation such as Joan Riley’s The Unbelonging (1985) to more recent works like Dina Nayeri’s The Ungrateful Refugee (2019).

⇢ see also: Fictions of migrationMigrantRepresentation of migration

References and further reading:

Bade, Klaus J. 2003. Migration in European History. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

De Haas, Hein. 2018. European Migrations: Dynamics, Drivers, and the Role of Policies. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. URL:

Fassmann, Heinz. 2009. “European Migration: Historical Overview and Statistical Problems.” In Statistics and Reality: Concepts and Measurements of Migration in Europe. 21–44. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Van Mol, Christof, and de Valk, Helga. 2016. "Migration and Immigrants in Europe: A Historical and Demographic Perspective." In Integration Processes and Policies in Europe: Contexts, Levels and Actors. 31–55. Cham: Springer.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5, 8