Publication: 2022

Awareness Campaigns to Deter Migrants: A Neoliberal Industry for Symbolic Bordering

Edited by: Valentina Cappi, Pierluigi Musarò

This chapter focuses on awareness campaigns targeting migrants as preventative strategies adopted since the 1990s by nation-states or supra-national entities for the management of transnational (im)mobility. An overall analysis of the textual and visual tropes recurring in four European and Australian awareness campaigns, produced between 2006 and 2019, shows how these campaigns act as symbolic bordering practices, reshaping the “inside” and the “outside” of both migrants’ sending and receiving countries with the purpose of deterring the mobility of selected people.

The authors explore the birth and development of awareness campaigns along two axes: on the one hand, they discuss campaigns’ role within the neoliberal societies of the Global North, which are increasingly obsessed with the remote control of potential risks and thus shift and securitize their borders through physical as well as symbolic tools. On the other hand, the authors suggest that awareness campaigns, of whose effectiveness no evidence is given, basically serve the reproduction of an industry concerning “media&migration” aimed at legitimising and justifying migration control and externalisation policies mostly in receiving countries.

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