Political motivations for intra-European migration
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Sociology 
Motivations for migrating within the European Union have mainly been attributed to economic, career and lifestyle choices. This article suggests that political dissatisfaction is also an important motivator of recent intra-European migration. In our analysis of in-depth interviews with Romanian migrants in Spain and with Spanish migrants in Norway, we found a common emphasis on the political dimensions of their decision to migrate. In the interviews, the economic component of migration was often related to bad governance and negative perceptions of the state. The similarities of Spanish and Romanian migration narratives are especially striking because Spain and Romania represent substantially different migratory, political and economic contexts. However, migration is more obviously intertwined with conventional acts of political protest in the Spanish case. We suggest that differences in democratic contexts are pivotal in people’s reactions to and framing of their deep dissatisfaction with domestic politics, as found in many European countries today.