Reframe the debate! New migration narratives for constructive dialogue


International Centre for Policy Advocacy, Germany

Launched in 2017



This project aims to empower campaigners to more effectively engage and rebalance the public debate around migration in Germany. As in many European countries, a fear-driven discourse about migration is becoming more mainstream, setting the boundaries of “acceptable” policy choices to measures driven by protection, security and exclusion.

Common “mythbusting” and rights-only approaches to the migration debate have not proved effective in engaging the wider public. Not only do they not resonate, they often get angry responses. The approach at the heart of this project is based on established reframing theory and international practice of narrative change campaigns. In practice, this means leading with positive, solution-oriented stories, built on “common sense” values that resonate with those in the so-called “movable middle” , who can be convinced and mobilised to help push back the populist mainstreaming process.


The project offers support for reframing campaigns, toolkits and workshops, and outreach to both German and international networks. It is also developing an evaluation methodology to gauge the effectiveness of a reframing approach in migration campaigning in Germany.



Learn more about Reframe the debate! and the International Centre for Policy Advocacy (ICPA)  




“We have worked for years supporting advocates on the policy side of highly charged issues in the minority inclusion field. Over time, we came to the realisation that more emotionally smart responses were often needed to reframe the public agenda before options that promote equity and diversity will be more broadly accepted.”


The International Centre for Policy Advocacy 



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