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...)


Circular migration

The term circular migration refers to the journeys that migrants make between their countries of origin and another country. Circular migration was a long-standing practice for many Senegalese before it was put on the international agenda as a way of managing international migration in a concerted manner and as a means of reconciling migration and development. In the framework of circular migration, during 2007, Spain concluded bilateral agreements with Senegal, giving 4,000 Senegalese the opportunity to work in Spain temporarily in the agricultural sector. To this effect, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero stated that “the agreements signed with Senegal allow immigration to take place within a legal framework under the guidance of the Spanish Ministry of Labour and according to the state of the labour market in Spain” (qtd. in Tandian and Tall, 2011, 10; author’s translation).

⇢ see also migrant, migration, migration culture

References and further reading:

  • Tandian, Aly. 2012. “Migrations internationales des Sénégalaises : nouveaux profils des migrantes et insertion professionnelle en Espagne.” In Les migrations africaines vers l’Europe : Entre mutations et adaptation des acteurs sénégalais, edited by Papa Demba Fall et Jordi Garreta Bochaca, 209–240. Lleida: REMIGRAFIFAN/GR-ASE. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.
  • Tandian, Aly. 2017. “Enjeux de la migration circulaire : des limites des accords entre le Sénégal et l’Espagne aux frustrations des candidates à la migration.” Revue Sénégalaise de Sociologie 12–13: 65–86.
  • Tandian, Aly, and Serigne Mansour Tall. 2011 “Migration circulaire des Sénégalais : Des migrations tacites aux recrutements organisés [Technical Report, Migration Policy Centre].” CARIM Analytic and Synthetic Notes 2011/52. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: A

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



Citizenship is the status of equal membership of a political community from which enforceable rights and obligations, benefits and resources, participatory practices, and a sense of identity flow. The liberal conception of citizenship stresses the formal legal status of being a citizen whereas the civic republican and communitarian conceptions of citizenship emphasize the communal context within which individuals are embedded and exercise self-determination. Citizenship’s roots can be traced back to the ancient Greek city states. The Romans extended the grant of citizenship to the conquered peoples of the Roman Empire thereby making law and order, and not ethnicity, its founding principles. The development of modern statehood made citizenship synonymous with nationality – a link which was called into question in the 1980s owing to globalization and the increasing mobility of people as well as the maturation of European integration and the transformation of the European Community into a post-national political unit.

⇢ see also European integration, mobility, naturalization

References and further reading:

Kostakopoulou, Dora. 2008. The Future Governance of Citizenship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Category: A, D

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


Civil society

The term civil society refers to a set of nongovernmental and non-commercial stakeholders shaping public spaces for collective action based on shared values and interests; it consequently stands for collective agency that is generally distinct from government and commercial for-profit actors.

⇢ see also agency, stakeholder

Category: A Work Package: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8

[BBK / CS / FK]

Closing civic space

Closing civic space is a phenomenon described by Rosa Balfour, Nicolas Bouchet, and Joerg Forbrig (2019), who claim that opportunities to occupy public spaces and to express political opinions with the intention of changing politics are shrinking. While the authors put particular focus on Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, they also acknowledge that the phenomenon reaches beyond these regions. The phenomenon of undermining civic actors appears increasingly sophisticated and widespread, e.g. in the US (cf. Balfour et al. 2019, 4).

⇢ see also opportunities

References and further reading:

Balfour, Rosa, Nicolas Bouchet, and Joerg Forbrig. 2019. Improving EU-U.S. Cooperation in Civil Society Support in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. Washington DC: The German Marshall Fund of the United State. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: A

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

[BBK / CS / FK]

Common ground

Common ground, i.e. a set of shared goals, ideas, interests, principles and beliefs, is the basis for a fair dialogue and a key element of Cross Talks. Strategies for establishing common ground include recognizing the other as a fellow human being, emphasizing the common good, reminding each other of the principles of humanity, and joining the other in the quest for well-being.

⇢ see also Cross Talk, recognition, fair dialogue

Category: A Work Package: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7


Contact zone

The concept of the contact zone was introduced to postcolonial theory by Marie-Louise Pratt to refer to “social spaces where disparate cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in highly asymmetrical relations of domination or subordination – such as colonialism and slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out across the globe today” (Pratt 2008 [1992], 7). Countries of transit and countries of arrival can be considered as contact zones, as they constitute spaces in which migrants, citizens, and other stakeholders meet and establish asymmetrical relationships.

⇢ see also citizen, migrant, stakeholder

References and further reading:

Pratt, Marie-Louise. 2008 [1992]. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. 2nd ed. London and New York, NY: Routledge.

Category: A

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


Content analysis and corpus linguistics

The classic definition of content analysis is the one by Bernard Berelson (1952, 18): “a research technique for the objective, systematic and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication.” Although this definition is very broad, in media and communication studies it usually implies the manual coding of communication content whereby every article is coded according to characteristics of the article. An example would be the application of the categories of Erving Goffman’s book Gender Advertisements (1979) to an actual sample of advertisements. The results of that research would include, for instance, how many stereotypes are used, which stereotypes are used more often in the representation of women with different ethnicities, and for which product categories stereotypes are more often used. Within a broad definition of content analysis, corpus linguistics could also be defined as a form of content analysis, although media and communication scholars do not typically think of corpus linguistics when the notion of content analysis is mentioned. Richard Nordquist defines the idea of corpus linguistics as follows: “Corpus linguistics is the study of language based on large collections of ‘real life’ language use stored in corpora (or corpuses) – computerized databases created for linguistic research. It is also known as corpus-based studies.” (Nordquist 2019, n. p.) Corpus Statistics Analysis allows the automatic analysis of very large corpora. This strategy depends on two theoretical notions and their attendant analytical tools, i.e. keyness and collocation (cf. Baker et al. 2008). Keyness is the frequency of particular words of clusters or words in certain corpora, while collocation of words occurs within a predetermined span of words. Within the OPPORTUNITIES project, the analysis of content will be applied to the analysis of tweets by politicians in four countries under study, namely Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy.

⇢ see quantitative media studies

References and further reading:

  • Baker, Paul, Gabrielatos Costas, Majid KhosraviNik, Michal Krzyzanowski, Tony McEnery, and Ruth Wodak. 2008. “A Useful Methodological Synergy? Combining Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics to Examine Discourses of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK Press.” Discourse & Society 19.3: 273–305.
  • Berelson, Bernard. 1952. Content Analysis in Communication Research. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
  • Goffman, Erving. 1979. Gender Advertisements. London: Palgrave.
  • Nordquist, Richard. 2019. “Definition and Example of Corpus Linguistics.” Thought.Co. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 4, 5

[DC / LH / SM]


The notion of conviviality emerged within the context of the ‘war on terror’ in post-9/11 Europe and is associated with British cultural studies scholar Paul Gilroy. ‘Tapping’ into the advantages of multiculturalism, conviviality refers to processes of cohabitation in which multicultural and intercultural interactions are considered an ordinary feature of social life (see Gilroy 2005). Conviviality does not imply the absence of racism, rather it shifts focus away from the limitations and anxieties associated with cultural and racial difference to the possibility of interactions premised on a cosmopolitan outlook and on mutual regard for a basic sameness of human beings.

⇢ see also common ground, fair dialogue, Level Telling Field, multiculturalism

References and further reading:

Gilroy, Paul. 2005. Postcolonial Melancholia. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5



Stemming from the field of medicine, where it describes a critical stage in the course of a disease, the metaphor of crisis has recently been often used in media discourses to describe problematic and portentous cultural, economic, ecological, or political phenomena. The term crisis serves in this context as a “narrative device” (Roitman 2014, 85), foregrounding that the current status quo marks a turning point in which decisions by affected stakeholders are of particular relevance for future progress. Crises are not cultural givens, but they are narratives constructed and perpetuated in cultural discourses (see Nünning 2009, Nünning 2012, Nünning and Nünning 2020). Although the term crisis primarily has a negative connotation in today’s media – especially in discourses of migration (see, e.g., UNHCR 2021) – crises do not necessarily have to result in disasters or catastrophes. They can also serve as opportunities for change and improvement. Adopting a positive reading of the metaphor of crisis, the OPPORTUNITIES project construes migration and the alleged refugee ‘crisis’ as a chance for EU member states to jointly work towards a fairer and more inclusive European Union (see also “Opportunity”).

⇢ see also metaphorology, narrative, opportunity

References and further reading:

  • Nünning, Ansgar. 2009. “Steps Towards a Metaphorology (and Narratology) of Crises: On the Functions of Metaphors as Figurative Knowledge and Mininarrations.” In Metaphors Shaping Culture and Theory [= REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 25], edited by Herbert Grabes, Ansgar Nünning, and Sibylle Baumbach, 229–262. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
  • Nünning, Ansgar. 2012. “Making Crises and Catastrophes – How Metaphors and Narratives Shape Their Cultural Life.” In The Cultural Life of Catastrophes and Crises, edited by Carsten Meiner and Kristin Veel, 59–88. Berlin and Boston, MA: De Gruyter.
  • Nünning, Ansgar, and Vera Nünning. 2020. “Krise als medialer Leitbegriff und kulturelles Erzählmuster: Merkmale und Funktionen von Krisennarrativen als Sinnstiftung über Zeiterfahrung und als literarische Laboratorien für alternative Welten.” Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift 70.3–4: 241–278.
  • Roitman, Janet. 2014. Anti-Crisis. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 2021. “Refugees Are Not the Crisis. It’s the Narratives We Tell about Them.” UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency. URL: crisis-its-the-narratives-we-tell-about-them/. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5, 8


Cross Talk

Cross Talk is an innovative methodology developed by the OPPORTUNITIES project that provides the framework for public cross-cultural encounters between migrants, citizens, and other stakeholders. It creates common ground between participants in order to ensure a fair dialogue between conversation partners, thus establishing a level telling field on a local level. Cross Talks consist of three consecutive steps: (1) Confidential storytelling – migrants tell their life stories to NGOs and citizens (either in oral or written form); (2) Non-public re-enactment – the NGOs and citizens re-tell the stories of the migrants, thus ‘re-living’ what has been told; (3) Public re-enactment – NGOs and citizens tell the migrants’ stories to other stakeholders to make them available to a broader public.

⇢ see also fair dialogue, Level Telling Field, life story, migrant narrative

Category: C

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