The public communication of the Estonian government regarding the refugee crisis in 2015: discourse analytical approach
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The aim of the MA thesis was to analyse the public communication of the Estonian government regarding the refugee crisis in 2015, namely whether the government has taken an active or passive role in the communication and which societal impacts the communication would have. More than one million refugees arriving by sea to EU during 2015 challenged the European unity and the solidarity in many ways. In Estonian society, the increasing polarization caused by the opinions regarding the refugee crisis has put the government under the pressure of different interest groups. The discourse analysis of the government press releases and the news articles reveiled the following: The reaction of the government during the first months of the crisis was critical towards the allocation of refugees and the general communication was inconsistent. After the allocation was decided in July, the position of the government turned favorable towards solidarity with EU and the refugees. At the same time, those groups who oppose the allocation were depicted rather in a negative way from the end of July onwards. From the results one can conclude that the government took over the position of the EU and presented it to the domestic audience in a rational way. One can speculate that the initial passiveness of the communication such as the sudden change in the position makes the refugee problem distant for an ordinary person and might increase the distrust towards the government. In addition, one can speculate that not forming a position towards certain events could trigger off misconceptions in the society which in the later phase are harder to overcome. A further analysis would be needed to reveal the viewpoint of the government regarding the communication since the current analysis only looked at the textual material (news articles and press releases).