Securitising Migration: The European Union in the Context of the Post-2011 Arab Upheavals

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Series Details Vol.51, No.4, November 2016, p67-79
Publication Date November 2016
ISSN 0393-2729
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The migration-security nexus, already at the heart of EU policymaking before the 2011 Arab uprisings, became acute after the forced displacements from Syria and the deterrence measures introduced. The internalisation by broader publics of “security knowledge” regarding migration contributed to the securitisation move. However, the construction of migration into a security-laden notion goes beyond both the adoption of deterrence measures and the straightforward association of migration with state as well as societal (in)security.

Through the lens of its cooperative tools with its southern neighbours, the EU has built complex interdependencies between migration, post-2011 regional stabilisation and security. In order to read the EU’s securitised migration politics properly, the migration-security nexus must be embedded in its social, geopolitical and temporal fields. Perceptions of geopolitical threats, concurrent strains and divergences over European integration and immigration constitute an enabling terrain for the politics of securitisation.

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