Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Shaping and Branding Migration Policy: A Retrospective Analysis of Portugal’s Contemporary Model

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Abstract:  Migrant populations have been consistently more vulnerable than others, with their vulnerability being exacerbated in crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. In the meantime, in their effort to “flatten the curve,” governments have been adopting policies that have significantly impacted migration in various ways. The effect of these policies has found migrants suffering disproportionately from the social and economic consequences of the pandemic crisis. Mobility restrictions have stranded them in the host countries, often without decent housing conditions, exacerbating xenophobic and discriminatory treatment of migrants. The study focuses on the case of Portugal and, more specifically, aims to provide a contextual feature of historical discussions of migration in Portugal and explore the perceptions and branding of migration policies in a crisis environment during the Covid-19 pandemic through the framing lens. Using empirical evidence from a frame analysis of parliamentary debates, the article investigates how immigration policies are branded and framed within Portugal, while it also evaluates the role of branding in migration policy-making, particularly in crisis scenarios. Overall, the article underscores the importance of branding in shaping migration policies, emphasising its significance in policy making.

Keywords:  branding; crisis; framing; immigration dynamics; immigration narratives; immigration policy; Portugal



© Vasiliki Tsagkroni. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.