An International Analysis of Governmental Media Campaigns to Deter Asylum Seekers

Sarah C. Bishop


In recent years, the governments of the United States, Australia, and Norway have developed and launched informational multimedia campaigns targeted at dissuading unwanted groups of asylum-seeking migrants and have disseminated these media in strategic international locales. This project investigates the visual and textual facets of these deterrence campaigns using critical narrative analysis. Asylum seekers globally occupy a precarious liminal position; this article interrogates the processes of governmentality at work in this liminal space. Specifically, I analyze the ways that government-funded deterrence campaigns offer material directives that (1) discursively bifurcate the nature of the threats posed when individuals seek asylum, and (2) omit requisite information about migrants’ human right to seek asylum, thereby advancing strategic ignorance in their audiences.


immigration, media, global communication, governmentality, migration deterrence

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