Applying the theory of discursive analysis to governance of forced migration

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This article deals with the political responses of the Turkish Republic when faced with incursions of refugees from its neighboring countries forced to migrate due to conflicts. It develops a general argument that the restrictive Turkish asylum regime and averse Turkish public philosophy to immigration have enforced
political authorities to continuously resort to discursive rather than institutionalized means to handle impacts of forced migration. Responding to increasing cases of forced migration and the resulting influx of refugees from the bordering countries, therefore, the Turkish political authorities have pursued selective policy responses resting on narratives. Via strategic discourses, these narratives have expressively embedded the Syrian as an “acceptable refugee” in political responses to forced migration. The acceptable refugee in
this instance is the one that implies historical and social responsibilities for Turkey, given its history. The outcome is the discursive construction of some as acceptable rather than extending institutionalized refugee rights for all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-160
Number of pages15
JournalMiddle East Journal of Refugee Studies
Issue number2
Early online date15 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • discursive analysis
  • governance
  • migration
  • Turkish Republic
  • refugees


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