[Event] Baker Centre 2019 Seminar Series 1: Prof. Michał Krzyżanowski on Media, Migration and Discursive Shifts

By Baker Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies, School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Date: Monday 21 October 2019

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Venue: Shangyuan (上院) building Room 512 (click Here for more details about the venue)


Media, Migration and Discursive Shifts: Strategies of Politicisation and Mediatisation in the European ‘Refugee Crisis’

Michał Krzyżanowski (Örebro University, Sweden)



Departing from a brief outline of traditional intersections in global media and immigration research, my lecture at Shanghai Jiao Tong University will explore the ever-more inherent discursive connection between politicisation and mediatisation of immigration in contemporary political and media discourse. In this context, I will specifically argue for the notion of discursive shift (Krzyżanowski 2013a, 2018) which allows relating micro- and mezzo-level discourse dynamics to the wider facets of macro-level global and transnational discursive change (Fairclough 1992). I will analyse such discursive shifts in debates about the 2015-16 Europe-wide Refugee Crisis and the strategies of normalization of exclusion (Krzyżanowski 2020a,b). My analysis will draw on critical, discourse-historical studies of right-wing populism (Krzyżanowski 2012, 2013b; Krzyżanowski & Wodak 2009; Wodak 2015) and point to the recontextualisation of topics and arguments across various spaces and genres carrying mediated political discourse esp. in online and social media. I will first look closely at the case of Poland (see also Krzyżanowski 2018a) and its right-wing populist politics to show how, despite the traditionally low politicization of immigration in Polish post-1989 politics and the media (Krzyżanowski 2014), recent months have brought a very significant discursive shift marked by an outright eruption of racist discourses of hate, marginalization and exclusion towards the incoming refugees and asylum seekers. On the other hand, I will also look at the mediatisation of mainstream political discourse in Sweden (Krzyżanowski 2018b). There, I will point to a different pattern of a discursive shift: away from the country’s once very humanitarian stance and generous migration and especially refugee regime and towards a tighter immigration control and discursive legitimisation thereof.



Fairclough, N. 1992. Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Krzyżanowski, M. 2010. The Discursive Construction of European Identities: A Multilevel Approach to Discourse and Identity in the Transforming European Union. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Krzyżanowski, M. 2012. Right-Wing Populism, Opportunism and Political Catholicism: On Recent Rhetorics and Political Communication of Polish PiS (Law and Justice) Party. In: A. Pelinka and B. Haller (Eds.) Populismus: Herausforderung oder Gefahr für die Demokratie? Vienna: New Academic Press, 111-126.

Krzyżanowski, M. 2013a. Policy, Policy Communication and Discursive Shifts: Analyzing EU Policy Discourses on Climate Change. In: P. Cap & U. Okulska (eds) Analysing New Genres in Political Communication. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 101-135.

Krzyżanowski, M. 2013b. From Anti-Immigration and Nationalist Revisionism to Islamophobia: Continuities and Shifts in Recent Discourses and Patterns of Political Communication of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). In: R. Wodak, B. Mral, M. KhosraviNik (Eds.) Rightwing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. London:  Bloomsbury Academic, 135-148.

Krzyżanowski, M. 2014. Values, Imaginaries and Templates of Journalistic Practice: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Social Semiotics 24(3): 345-365.

Krzyżanowski, M. 2016. Recontextualisation of neoliberalism and the increasingly conceptual nature of discourse: Challenges for critical discourse studies. Discourse & Society 27(3).

Krzyżanowski, M. 2018a. Discursive Shifts in Ethno-Nationalist Politics: On Politicisation and Mediatisation of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Poland. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1-2).

Krzyżanowski, M. 2018b. ‘We Are a Small Country that Has Done Enormously Lot’: The ‘Refugee Crisis’ & the Hybrid Discourse of Politicising Immigration in Sweden. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1-2).

Krzyżanowski, M. 2020a. Normalization, Discursive Construction of Normality and the Recontextualization of (New) Social Norms. Social Semiotics 30 (1).

Krzyżanowski, M. 2020b. Discursive Shifts and Normalisation of Racism: Social Imaginaries in Mediated Political Discourse of Contemporary Right-Wing Populism. Social Semiotics 30 (1).

Krzyżanowski, M. & R. Wodak. 2009. The Politics of Exclusion: Debating Migration in Austria. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Krzyżanowski, M. & B. Forchtner (eds.). 2016. Theoretical and Conceptual Challenges in Critical Discourse Studies. (Special Issue Discourse & Society 27:3). London: Sage.

Wodak, R. 2001. The Discourse-Historical Approach. In: Wodak, R & M. Meyer (eds.) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage, 63-95.

Wodak, R. 2015. The Politics of Fear: What Right Wing Populist Discourses Mean. London: Sage.

Wodak, R. & M. Krzyżanowski (eds.) 2008. Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.



Professor Michał Krzyżanowski is a Chair in Media and Communication Studies at Örebro University, Sweden. He also holds a research appointment as a Chair in Communication & Media at the University of Liverpool, UK, and in 2018–19 he is also Albert Bonnier Jr. Guest Professor in Media Studies at the Department of Journalism, Media & Communication, Stockholm University, Sweden. He currently leads two research groups: in ‘Discourse, Communication & Media’ at Örebro University, and in in ‘Discourse & Society’ at the University of Liverpool. Michał is one of the leading international experts in critical discourse studies of media and political communication. His key research interests are in dynamics of right-wing populist discourse, normalisation of racism and politics of exclusion as well as in diachronic analyses of politicisation and mediation of crisis in European and global media. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international Journal of Language and Politics and a co-editor of the Bloomsbury Advances in Critical Discourse Studies book series. More information: https://www.oru.se/english/employee/michal_krzyzanowski and https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/communication-and-media/staff/michal-krzyzanowski.