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Transnational Migration

Monday, 20 June 2011, 4.00 p.m. in Room Carstens

Image: picture-alliance/ dpa

Security and migration bring together a broad range of issues. Accordingly, discussions have shown the heterogeneity not only of approaches but also of competing perspectives that have to be taken into account.

In recent political debate discussions on the so-called “Security-Migration Nexus” have usually evolved around the following four, more or less substantive threat scenarios:

- An uncontrollable rise in irregular migration, often diffusely linked with fears of organized crime, such as women and drug trafficking

- Fears of a so-called “demographic imbalance” of immigrant versus resident groups. Fueled by current concerns regarding declining birth rates in many industrialized countries, this debate tends to overemphasize perceptions of the resident society of being outnumbered by large groups of immigrants who will compete for jobs, housing, etc.

- Issues of failed or lacking integration efforts on the part of both migrants and the resident society. There are fears of youth gangs, “ghettoization” and the development of so-called “parallel societies”.

- There is a tendency to closely link terrorism and migration in political debates. Public and media-sponsored calls for stricter border controls to close out potentially dangerous aliens are mirrored on the institutional and bureaucratic level.

However, by unduly overstating the security concerns of the recipient states, additional dimensions of and perspectives on the security-migration nexus are frequently ignored or subdued.
This especially pertains to the security concerns and requirements of migrants - ranging from insecurity as a cause of migration, life-threatening circumstances of flight and expulsion, to social and economic insecurity in the residence countries. On the other hand, it also holds true to/for the causes and consequences of migration processes for the societies in the respective countries of origin.

Against this backdrop, this workshop seeks to discuss
- The “securitization” of migration in politics and the media
- EU policy on border security (the mission of Frontex)
- The “Security-Migration Nexus” reflected in the media (case studies)
- Implications for policy framing

Jerry Sommer
Journalist and BICC Research Associate

Jochen Hippler
Political sccientist and lecturer, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Francesco Ragazzi
Assistant professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University, The Netherlands

Andrea Warnecke
Senior Researcher, BICC, Germany