Asylum Seekers Crisis in Europe 2015: Debating Spaces of Fear and Security in Latvia

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Abstract

In this paper we analyse emerging discourses of fear on the one hand and safety and security on the other. In the context of rupture - sudden, unprecedented asylum flows as well as the historical context of the fear and experience of losing the state’s freedom, we pose the following research question: Where do insecurities and fear come from and how are spaces of security and safety carved out through public discourses? We argue that, instead of singling out political discourses in Eastern European as filled with hatred towards other ethnicities and races or an inability to show solidarity with human suffering, we have to open up a far more deep reaching debate on the interplay of fear and the willingness to create safer, more secure futures. We illustrate this with examples from media debates in Latvia, in late 2015.

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