• Cathrine Koop
  • Sofie Folsach Rasmussen
4. semester, Kultur, kommunikation og globalisering, kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis examines how Danish politicians mobilize securitization discourse in their representation of the war in Ukraine to justify and argue for certain political decisions and actions in the name of security and defence as well as how constructions of a Western and a European identity figure in this representation. In regard to this, a theoretical framework outlining the concept of discourse, securitisation and identity is provided within this thesis in order to gain a better understanding of the concepts as well as how they are understood in relation to this thesis. The data for analysis in this thesis consists of various statements made by Danish politicians that address and represent the war in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The primary focus of this thesis lies in political discourse and representation, specifically in terms of how Danish politicians employ securitization discourse to justify and argue for political actions and decisions in the name of security and defense. Therefore, securitization is utilized as an analytical resource to understand the dynamics of these representations within political discourse. Consequently, Critical Discourse Analysis, particularly Fairclough's three-dimensional framework, is employed as the analytical framework for this thesis. This approach involves a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the data corpus across different genres, examining discursive devices such as semantics, structure, metaphors, lexical choices, grammar, and more, which enables us to examine how actors, identities, discursive categories, and relations are represented, constructed, and reinforced, as well as how these representations contribute to and constitute certain perceptions of the world.
From our analysis, we find that there is a dialectical relationship between securitisation discourse and discursive constructions of identity in connection to the Danish politicians’ representations of the war in Ukraine. This is so as discursive constructions of collective identities are not only a part of securitisation discourse when it comes to characterizing a threat in opposition to what is being threatened, but securitisation likewise facilitates and reinforces the establishment of a collective European and Western identity and community in opposition to a common enemy, legitimizing certain security and defense actions. Furthermore, we find that the Danish politicians represent Russia and Putin as an imminent threat to not only Ukraine, but Europe and the West as well. In this way, they are able to construct a sense of urgency, emphasising an immediate requirement for action and the legitimacy of decisions. As Russia and Putin are especially represented as a threat to the shared values that Europe and the West are built on the politicians construct the war as a threat to core aspects and values of Europe and the West as a whole, including Denmark. Thus, the war is not only represented as a conflict between two nations, but it is also represented as an ideological struggle between Europe and the West on one side and Russia and Putin on the other. Moreover, we find that that a collective European and Western identity and community is established in connection to shared experiences and values - repeatedly emphasised as democracy, peace and freedom – as well as in opposition to an Other, namely Russia and Putin.
We find that the Danish politicians establish and reinforce polarizing categories of us versus them, right versus wrong and good versus bad in their discursive representation of the war in Ukraine. By utilizing and reinforcing such binary oppositions, complex issues are reduced to simplified and polarized categories and thus leaves no room for nuances. Thus, by polarizing the war into such stark dichotomies, the portrayal is not only used to legitimise certain actions in the name of security and defence, but it neglects the potential for varied perspectives, motivations, and factors at play.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2023
Antal sider70
ID: 532338842