A Thin Line: Governmental Border Communication in Times of European Crisis

Verena Brändle, Olga Eisele

In response to the recent crises in Europe many governments have tightened their border controls despite considerable criticism from the EU Commission and civil society. While borders are at the core of recent crises, we lack systematic evidence of how governments publicly inform about border politics and justify measures. Therefore, we ask: How do EU governments communicate about borders?
We analyse a comprehensive sample of press releases of the Austrian and German governments over 12 years (2009-2020). Applying a mixed-methods design, we employ automated text analysis, specifically Latent Semantic Scaling (LSX) to scale documents regarding how they communicated permeability (openness and closedness) of borders and the state of affairs regarding a state of crisis and routine. Based on this quantitative analysis, we then apply qualitative text analysis to explore the nuances and patterns of this communication to gain in-depth insights into governmental stances about borders.

Department of Communication, Department of Government
Journal of Common Market Studies
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508020 Political communication
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