University of Oulu

The migration-security nexus in domains of insecurity : a qualitative content analysis of two recent EU-policies

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Author: Oberngruber, Bernhard1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.8 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201601201063
Language: English
Published: Oulu : B. Oberngruber, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-01-25
Physical Description: 63 p.
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Kaukko, Mervi
Reviewer: Räsänen, Rauni
Kaukko, Mervi
Description:

Abstract

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, issues in migration gradually gained importance and are now firmly on top of European policy makers’ agenda. Against the backdrop of an increasing public and political awareness of the matters related to migration, new problem-solving approaches emerged. The proposal of securitizing issues in migration is among the most prominent approaches. This would allow to break free from procedures and rules by placing the matter beyond the rule of the established political game. The impacts for migrants of the securitization of migration would however be substantial, as securitization also places the issue in a much more hostile environment.

This thesis is thus concerned with the analysis of two recent EU-policies in terms of identifying possible political speech acts, which are a basic requirement of securitization. In most cases, speech acts are highly expedient towards labelling the issue as a threat to security. Theoretically grounded in the work of Jef Huysmans’ The politics of insecurity, this thesis is guided by two research questions:

1. What are the threat definitions of migration in European post-9/11 policies and how do they correspond with the politics of insecurity?

2. Which kind of political reframing is taking place in the shift from migration as a non-politicized issue to the securitization of migration?

This thesis uses Qualitative Content Analysis as a research method. It is concerned with identifying themes and patterns in two recent EU-policies and sets them in relation to three main categories, which emerged from the theory of this research. These categories are the following:

1. Migration as a threat to internal security and domestic labour markets

2. Migration as a threat to European cultural values

3. Migration as a threat to European welfare

The data can be identified as belonging to two different policy areas, the security area and the migration area. The first policy, the European Security Strategy, is taken from the security area and was published as a reaction to the violent attacks of 9/11 in the United States. The document deals with threats all along the spectrum as related to European security. The second document, the Global Approach for Migration and Mobility, is the overarching framework of the European Union external migration and asylum policy since 2005. The document defines the premises under which the EU is conducting policy dialogues and development cooperation with non-EU countries.

The findings of this research revealed that migration poses almost exclusively a threat to the first category, European internal security and domestic labour markets. Further, empirical evidence revealed correlations between migration, organized crime and terrorism. However, no convincing evidence has been found that cultural values or European welfare is threatened by migration.

The last chapter discusses the findings and analyses them against the backdrop of the administration of fear and trust, which has a distorting effect on the relationship between refugees and frightened societies in Europe. This is because, in domains of insecurity, previously trusted or indifferent relationships between established and outsiders are relocated in a climate of fear and prejudice. This chapter also reveals potential solutions to disrupt the widespread intermingling between migration and the feeling of insecurity.

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Copyright information: © Bernhard Oberngruber, 2016. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.