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Border Security, Boat Migration and Mediterranean Operations in the Frames of Securitisation and Law Enforcement: Causal Explanation and Process Tracing

  • B. M. J. B. Klein Goldewijk
Chapter
Part of the NL ARMS book series (NLARMS)

Abstract

The Central Mediterranean route is currently the main one for migrants crossing the European Union’s (EU) external borders. Boat migration and border security will be approached here within two main frameworks for analysis: a securitisation frame and a law enforcement frame. First, the pathways of securitisation will be traced in the context of the discourse and military-naval operations conducted by Frontex and its partaking EU Member States, with an emphasis on EU Operation Sophia. Second, a seemingly opposing process of desecuritisation of migration will be analysed, where the implications of the legal Hirsi Judgement are at the core. Categorisation and contentious data analysis will be explored in connection to both frames. The central research question is why and how the outcome of the (de)securitisation of Mediterranean borders and boat migration has been reached. This is a ‘how is this possible’ or effects-oriented question, by taking the outcome of securitisation processes as its point of departure. The major objective is primarily theoretical: to contribute to strengthening securitisation theory by focussing on its disputed capacity of a causal explanation of social mechanisms and facilitating conditions. This will be realised by engaging in interpretivist process tracing: by so doing the relevance of this research strategy within international security studies will be confirmed. It is concluded that (de)securitisation processes can be explained by their paradoxical effects: they enable the protection of the rights of migrants but also create new divisions through current external border operations, and so establish ambiguities within both frameworks.

Keywords

Securitisation Law Enforcement Boat Migration Border Security Mediterranean Operations Causal Explanation Process Tracing 

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser press and the authors 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Military SciencesNetherlands Defence Academy, Ministry of DefenceBredaThe Netherlands

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