Final Conference: Whose security?: Migration-(in)security dilemmas ten years after 9/11 University of Warwick, 7th - 8th March 2013
The final conference provides an opportunity for scholars and policy makers to reconsider and further develop some of the themes and new issues raised during the course of the seminars. It will focus on insecurities produced as a result of migration and integration policy, formulated in an era of securitisation and the war on terror, amongst some of the most disadvantaged groups in Europe and beyond. It will also consider ways in which policies emphasising human security could produce increased safety and well-being for society as a whole.
This seminar will set the agenda for the seminars that follow by considering theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of the securitisation of migration and by placing migration and security within current global, geopolitical and social contexts. Speakers and participants will discuss: a) the decisions of governments to securitise migration, the intended and unintended consequences and hidden benefits/costs associated with securitisation; b) the strength and reasoning of normative calls for the de-securitisation of migration made by human security approach advocates; c) the validity of pragmatic accounts of long-term harm caused by short-term securitisation needs; d) the tension between state security and human security, specifically in relation to ‘borders’ and issues of ‘race’/ethnicity, gender and faith.
This seminar will focus on security measures - security programmes (e.g. the EU Security Research Programme, based on the US ‘homeland security’ model), surveillance agencies (such as the proposed European Gendarmerie Force) and techniques (proposed expansion and ‘mining’ of data held in passports, health cards and driving licenses, finger-printing at entry ports etc.) - deployed to control the entry of ‘undesirable’ migrants into Europe as part of the ‘war against terror’. It will examine the consequences of security and surveillance measures for the civil liberties and human rights of particular population groups, particularly those of Muslim background, and on society as a whole and whether it is possible to counter the stigmatisation of entire communities and the undermining of liberal democratic principles through different policies.
The central focus of this seminar is the gendered rhetoric of migration and security where the migration of large numbers of men is a often perceived as a threat to social stability and national security (rising criminality, terrorism, the importation of political conflicts from countries of origin etc.) and female migration can be associated with moral and sexual questions which may challenge western values (dress codes and the protection of female modesty) or those of criminality (trafficking and prostitution). Thus victimhood is reserved for women while transgression and violence is attributed to men. The fact that migration, and forced or irregular migration in particular, exposes all migrants to insecurity and vulnerability is frequently glossed over. Papers presented in this seminar will examine and question the gendered rhetoric of migration and security with the aim of proposing policy responses that are capable of addressing both the specific and common security needs of male and female migrants.
Using evidence relating to the recent global financial crisis and its effects on migration patterns, processes and policies in Europe, seminar speakers and audience will examine increasing restrictions on migrants’ access to labour markets, employment and welfare rights. It will consider the implications for the security of migrants (especially undocumented/irregular migrants) and their families, of growing unemployment, deteriorating working and living conditions and rising racism and xenophobia in Europe. Speakers and audience will also address the question of policy alternatives to counter economic precarity and insecurity in migrant communities.