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Crime, Media and Moral Panic in an Expanding European Union

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In the latest phase of European Union enlargement Bulgaria and Romania were admitted to EU membership on 1 January 2007. In the UK, media coverage of the accession process focused on the potential movement of large numbers of people from Eastern to Western European states; a particular focus was the crime risk associated with enlargement. This article examines how newspapers reported the perceived crime threats and assesses the extent to which the concerns can be understood as a moral panic. The article confirms the contemporary utility of moral panic analysis, albeit with some flexibility to reflect the modern media landscape.

Keywords: European enlargement; media; moral panic

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Reader in Criminal Justice and 2: Lecturer in Criminal Justice, Birmingham City University

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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