Drawing on the concepts of securitisation and desecuritisation, the article argues that the construction of security threats does not necessarily have to relate to their threat potential, but can be instrumentalised and utilised by competing actors for specific aims. Using the example of the Austrian Ministry of the Interior and the Austrian tabloid press, the article scrutinises how West-European security-political and media actors reacted to the challenges of the 2007 Schengen enlargement. With reference to Balzacq’s “three faces of securitisation” it shows that the tabloids’ securitising strategy proved to be more successful than the ministry’s desecuritising strategy, because the newly emerged context did not support a congruence of the audience’s frame of reference and the ministry’s speech act.
Austria, Balzacq, Schengen, securitisation, Eastern Europe
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