Beyond fear and hate: mobilising people power to create a new narrative on migration and diversity

Ben and Jerry’s

Heaven Crawley and Simon McMahon

Across Europe political and media debates on migration and diversity have become increasingly negative. There is growing evidence that narratives of fear and hate have moved from fringe positions to occupy the mainstream, changing the terms of the debate in many countries. This project explores who is driving dominant narratives on migration and diversity and their purpose. To answer this question we examined the factors that shape attitudes to migration and diversity in four case study countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, focusing in particular on the development of alternative narratives by a growing number of civil society and grass roots organisations, based on values of diversity, solidarity and human compassion.

The research was published as Beyond Fear and Hate: Mobilising people power to create a new narrative on migration and diversity in October 2016. The report showed how narratives of fear and hate which have increasingly dominated political and a selection of mainstream media responses to migration and diversity create division, undermine solidarity and set communities against one another. But it also showed that across Europe people are coming together to challenge these narratives and develop new ways of thinking about – and responding to – migration and diversity. The emphasis is very much on what people from different backgrounds have in common rather than the differences between them. The research has been used to underpin Ben and Jerry’s One Sweet World social mission campaign. The contents have been adapted into a range of outputs, such as the One Sweet World video which can be viewed here.