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Refugees as/at risk: The gendered and racialized underpinnings of securitization in British media narratives

Journal article
Authors Harriet Gray
Anja Franck
Published in Security Dialogue
ISSN 09670106
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
School of Global Studies
Language en
Keywords Gender, media, race, refugee crisis, securitization of migration, vulnerability
Subject categories Peace and development research, International Migration and Ethnic Relations


It is well established in the literature that migration has become increasingly securitized. In this article, we examine the racialized and gendered grids of intelligibility that make securitizing moves possible in the migration context. Specifically, we argue that the securitization of migration during the so-called EU refugee crisis comes into being through intertwined and mutually dependent representations of racialized, masculinized threat and racialized, feminized vulnerability, which are woven into the scaffolding of colonial modernity. We construct our argument through an analysis of relevant newspaper articles published in British newspapers between September 2015 and March 2016. Accordingly, our discussion advances understandings of the dominant narratives through which the ‘refugee crisis’ has been understood. In addition, in highlighting the naturalized inequalities that underpin securitizing speech acts, the article also contributes to literature that seeks to add an improved understanding of power to securitization theory.

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