Securitisation through the schoolbook? On facilitating conditions for and audience dispositions towards the securitisation of climate change

  • Tobias Ide
  • Adrien Detges
  • Timo Leimeister
Original Article


This article contributes to the literature on securitisation in a twofold way. Firstly, it argues that school textbooks reveal the consolidated discursive realms of a given society and convey them to the next generation. Focusing on school textbooks can thus enrich the analysis of facilitating conditions for securitisation processes. The second and main contribution of this article is that it addresses the lack of empirical studies on the audience in securitisation research. After an analysis of climate change discourses in Germany, we test whether or not students exposed to vastly different positions in the same consolidated discursive realm are more prone to accept the securitisation of climate change. In order to do so, we use a quasi-experimental research design and a closed questionnaire. Results show that young people who read school textbooks using an alarmist logic are indeed more likely to conceive climate change as an urgent threat necessitating extraordinary measures, and are thus more likely to accept the securitisation of climate change.


Audience Climate change Discursive realm Education Facilitating conditions Securitisation 



We are grateful to all teachers and students who supported this study and participated in the survey. We also thank Ingrid Boas and Delf Rothe for helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper as well as Johanna Ahlrichs and Patrick Mielke for advice on designing research in classroom contexts.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georg Eckert InstituteBrunswickGermany
  2. 2.Department of Political and Social Sciences, FU BerlinBerlinGermany

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