Visual Securitization - Humanitarian Representations and Migration Governance

by Alice Massari
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Alice Massari Visual Securitization - Humanitarian Representations and Migration Governance
Alice Massari - Visual Securitization - Humanitarian Representations and Migration Governance

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This open access book offers an innovative account of how relief organizations’ visual depiction of Syrian displacement contributes to reproduce and reinforce a securitized account of refugees. Through visual analysis, the book demonstrates how the securitization process takes place in three different ways. First of all, even if marginally, it occurs through the reproduction of mainstream media and political accounts that have depicted refugees in terms of threats. Secondly, and more consistently, through a representation of Syrian displaced people that, despite the undeniable innovative aesthetic patterns focusing on dignity and empowerment, continue to reinforce a visual narrative around refugees in terms of victimhood and passivity. The reproduction of a securitized account takes also place through the dialectic between what is made visible in the pictures and what is not. At the same time the book identifies visual glimmers and minor displacements in the humanitarian discourse that have the potentiality to produce alternative discourses on refugees and displacement beyond the mainstream securitized ones. By showing how relief organizations’ visual representation contributes to the securitization of the refugee issue, this book provides a great resource to students and academics in migration, visuality, humanitarianism and securitization, as well as social scientists and policy-makers.


Alice Massari

Further information

Illustrations Note:
XV, 204 p. 13 illus.
Table of Contents:

“This is an important and meticulously researched book about the politics of visualising refugee crises. Most books on humanitarian politics are written either by scholars or by practitioners. Visual Securitization is an exception because Alice Massari is able to navigate both of these worlds and advance an innovative scholarly contribution that is, at the same time, of significant practical relevance.” (Roland Bleiker, Professor of International Relations, University of Queensland)
Connects visuality with migration governance

Describes humanitarian representation of Syrian displacement?

This book is available open access and free to read online

Media Type:
Springer International Publishing
Biography Artist:
Alice Massari works in the humanitarian sector since 2007 as researcher, aid worker and consultant. She holds an M.A. in International Relations and a Ph.D. in Political Science, European Politics and International Relations (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy).  She is currently working as humanitarian affairs officer for UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and has worked as expert on migration for the European Commission, and as aid worker for NGOs in Africa and the Middle East. Her research and writing focus on migration, humanitarianism, visuality and securitization.

1st ed. 2021
Number of Pages:

Master Data

Product Type:
Paperback book
Release date:
May 19, 2021
Package Dimensions:
0.233 x 0.156 x 0.019 m; 0.352 kg
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