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Title: Cultural study of asylum under New Labour
Author: Moore, Kerry
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2010
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A Cultural Study of Asylum in the UK Under New Labour critically explores the meaning and significance of an 'asylum crisis' constructed within British public discourse since 1997. Drawing upon the discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe and the work of other poststructuralist, deconstructionist and Cultural Studies theory, the research opens a range of questions about how the dominant hegemonic discourse on asylum has been articulated, using examples in the analysis drawn from across a number of discursive sites, focusing primarily upon examples drawn from the national news media, the rhetoric of mainstream national politicians and policy and other official documents. In the first three chapters the study seeks to explain how theory is important to understanding the role of asylum in contemporary culture and politics. Here, a genealogy of ideas concerning the 'othering' of migrants in the UK is developed, and in relation to asylum, an elucidation of some key concepts for discourse theory and Cultural Studies. The analytical approach of the study is constructed through a critical appraisal of Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory in relation to asylum as an object of analysis and via an engagement with the work other poststructuralist scholars. Case study chapters then examine how a dominant asylum discourse has been constructed in relation to particular 'crisis' issues, how these discourses have shifted and changed under New Labour, and the technologies of control through which asylum seekers are excluded from the mainstream, 'law abiding' citizenry. Through these are explored the conditions of possibility for the articulation of asylum as a threat to the security and well being of the British nation, and concomitantly for the rearticulation of liberal democratic values such as 'human rights' as a potential threat to national security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available