Four voices of refugee solidarity along the Balkan Route: An exploratory pilot study on motivations for mobilisation
Keywords:refugees, perception, media, intergroup relations, mobilisation, activism, Balkans
Scathing critiques of the European response to what has been widely called a ‘refugee crisis’ are not in short supply. However, as many activist mobilisations and solidarities emerged along the Balkan Route, this is only one facet of the European response to forced migration. Having interviewed four migration activists from four countries along this route – Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary – this exploratory pilot study sought to investigate possible motivational factors for mobilisation in light of the fact that the participants had no prior experience in activism nor interest in the politics of migration prior to the European migration crisis. Through content analysis of interview transcripts, two factors emerged as having potential implications for mobilisation: media coverage and visibility of refugees. Hence, theories about the media effect and intergroup contact are used to explicate the findings. Possible future research avenues are proposed.