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The EU and Human Rights as Institutional Facts in the Finnish Political Discourse on Family Reunification

Linda Hyökki

Abstract

This article analyses the Finnish political response to the refugee influx connected with the Syrian war and violent conflicts in its neighbouring states. In July 2016, a law amendment on the Finnish Aliens Act about a secured income prerequisite for family reunification applications came into force. Using argumentation schemes as outlined by Fairclough & Fairclough (2012), this article analyses the discursive framing of the law amendment in Parliament. The paper benefits from the social ontology of John Searle (1995; 2010) and utilises his concept of institutional facts. The analysis shows that, as normative sources for action, the institutional context of the EU, as well as the Human Rights, possess different degrees of deontic modality which in turn shapes the representation of social reality in the context of the refugee crisis and its global and local impact.

Keywords

political discourse; family reunification; institutional facts; Human Rights; EU

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