Closed due to ‘flooding’? UK media representations of refugees and migrants in 2015–2016 – creating a crisis of borders

Lesley J. Pruitt

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a discourse analysis of high circulation news media sources in the United Kingdom, around six key events relating to migration in 2015–2016. This article argues that the dominant discourse in UK media constructed the increase in movements of people and applications for asylum as a ‘crisis of borders’. In this context, Europe’s borders were deemed problematically porous in enabling large numbers of people to enter. This porosity was painted as leading to an ongoing crisis for people in Europe, with the assumption being that allowing more people to enter would threaten European borders, security forces, people, and identity. These discursive constructions serve to marginalise considerations of insecurity and dangers that asylum seekers and refugees face in conflicts, and instead paint them not as experiencing violence, but rather as perpetrators of crisis themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-402
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • asylum seekers
  • borders
  • crisis
  • discourse analysis
  • Europe
  • media
  • migration
  • refugees
  • security
  • United Kingdom

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