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Migrants and Natives - 'Them' and 'Us'

Migrants and Natives - 'Them' and 'Us'
Mainstream and Radical Right Political Rhetoric in Europe

December 2020 | 144 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In light of the recent global resurgence of radical and populist right-wing parties, this book examines hostile and anti-immigration rhetoric in Europe. Topical and timely, it deftly guides the reader through the trajectories of radical right parties and contextualises discriminatory rhetoric in wider immigration and integration politics.

Grounded in a focussed, comparative critical discourse study that draws on methods from social science and linguistics, the book:

  • Presents a study of political rhetoric on migration in several European countries over the past thirty-five years, drawing out similarities and differences.
  • Explores anti-immigration rhetoric before and after the 2015 refugee/solidarity crisis.
  • Illuminates the role of so-called ‘mainstream’ parties in developing and legitimising discriminatory rhetoric.

Exposing the insidious nature of malevolent political rhetoric and its consequences, this book is a timely and essential read.

Introduction: Making natives 'us' and migrants 'them' in European politics
Why political rhetoric matters

Why current rhetoric on migration and migrants is a concern

Chapter 1: Anti-immigration and anti-migrant rhetoric as part of politics
Aims of the book


The rise of radical right parties in Western Europe

The corpora

On methods

Chapter 2: Who should be let in?
Four perspectives on immigration policy

Labour migrants - threats or assets?

Refugees - threats, rights-holders or objects of charity?

Chapter 3: How should we live together?
Two perspectives on integration

Natives as 'us' and migrants as 'them'

New inhabitants - rights-holders to what extent?

Chapter 4: Accumulating poison?
Rhetorical change since the 1980s in Austria, Denmark and Sweden

The refugee/solidarity crisis

Migration rhetoric before and after the crisis

Discrimination - fought or forgotten?

Chapter 5: Conclusions
Summary of the findings: cause for concern

Influence by the radical right parties?


Boréus uses a commanding knowledge of migration policy and an in-depth database on policy discourses to provide a forensic account of how these policies are discussed and shaped, both from the mainstream and fringes, in six key European country cases.

William Allchorn
School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds

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ISBN: 9781526475039