A Europe of Fortresses: The Securitization of Migration in Europe and the 2015 »Refugee Crisis«

  • Author / Creator
    Kathrin Kapfinger
  • This thesis examines the securitization of migration in Europe and the responses to the 2015 refugee crisis – specifically the reintroductions of intra-Schengen border controls. The project explores two central research questions: In what ways have securitization discourse and European integration shaped migration policies and practices prior to the 2015 crisis? How have the EU and its Member States justified the reintroductions of internal border controls in the wake of said crisis? It advances the argument that the process of European integration has been deeply implicated in the securitization of migration, and that we need to analyze the responses to this latest crisis through a security lens in order to understand them. Furthermore, building on previous research and a framework of securitization theory, this thesis analyzes notification letters that Member States are required to submit if they decide to invoke the derogation clause under Article 27(1) and Article 28(2) of the Schengen Borders Code. Thus, it contributes to a comprehensive examination of all known cases of temporarily reinstated border controls in the Schengen Area. This work adds to the existing body of knowledge by providing detailed empirical evidence of the expansion of the migration-security nexus, since the derogation clause has recently been used in order to deter migrants from entering Member States’ territories. Moreover, it attempts to analyze how these latest events in the EU’s longstanding history of securitization are changing the current border regime, and how the balance between the norm and the exception has been affected. The analysis sheds light on a self re-enforcing cycle of rhetoric and practice that has been established that criminalizes and securitizes asylum seekers and migrants and legitimizes last-resort emergency measures that undermine the core values of the EU.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
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