A Discourse-Historical Analysis of the 2014 Vote ‘Against Mass Immigration’ in Switzerland

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Collrin, Bridget Marie




This study investigates the 2014 vote 'against mass immigration'(Masseneinwanderungsinitiative) in Switzerland by employing a discourse-historical approach to critical discourse analysis. The Foucauldian theoretical framework of governmentality is used to reveal how power and knowledge production on immigration in Switzerland has been dominated by elite actors in politics and the media. In the context of direct democracy and immigration governmentality in Switzerland, it highlights how the national-conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP) has used the popular initiative as an instrument to exert their power, and push forward their anti- Europeanization and anti-immigration agenda. Data is drawn from the SVP campaign and fourteen articles from four major Swiss newspapers. By identifying the discursive strategies and arguments of legitimation surrounding the vote, the analysis reveals how the existent fears of 'over-foreignization' are (re)produced in the polarizing discourses of the SVP and popular media.


Political Science
European History




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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