When the threatened become the threat: The construction of asylum seekers in British media narratives

Alexandria Innes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Asylum seekers can be considered some of the most vulnerable people in the world, yet this article demonstrates that in advanced industrialized states, exemplified by the UK, they are constructed as a homogeneous collective that threatens state interests. This article examines the construction of asylum seekers as a threat that is evident in British narratives. Building on works by critical security scholars, this article examines the process that led to asylum seekers being portrayed as a threat in the UK. The empirical research focuses on narratives that give insight into sentiments towards asylum seekers in the UK. Government policy, political statements and the mass media are considered. The nature of the threat examined is threefold and takes into account traditional security studies, economic or subsistence security and societal identity security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-477
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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