This thesis investigates the political implications of the declaration of the “refugee crisis”. By means of a Critical Discourse Analysis, this thesis aims to analyze how a specific articulation of the issue of migration – as crisis – makes certain forms of politics possible, while it renders others impossible. By focusing on three dimensions of the “refugee crisis”, it shows how EU migration politics are centered around an idea of immigration as a “crisis”. First, the EU strategically presents the “refugee crisis” as an external problem, which paves the way for its policy of externalization. Second, and following from the latter, the EU heavily invests in securitizing its external borders. Third, this thesis shows how the aforementioned “exclusionary” dimensions are always accompanied by an underlying capitalist interest, whereby migrants and refugees form a reserve army of cheap labor power (“inclusion”). As such, the working classes are structurally fragmented by borders, thereby averting international solidarity among workers. It concludes with the observation that “crisis” has become the durable norm.

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Willem Schinkel, Bonnie French
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Ike, N. (2021, June 20). The EU's Obsession with Crisis: On the Politics of the "Refugee Crisis". Sociology. Retrieved from