Securitising Migration through Discourse and Practices: The Case of Greece

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Foteini Kalantzi , Balkan, Slavic and Anatolian Studies, University of Macedonia, Greece
Migration and especially irregular migration has caused concern particularly in the last twenty years and it has been treated as a new security challenge by the Western world, both in terms of discourse and practices. The nature of this challenge is not determined by the mass movement of people, which ultimately is not a new phenomenon, but by the fact that migration is included in government documents and depicted in the policies of states and international / peripheral organisations as a security risk. The fact that the refugee crisis took such a prominent position is not only because of the humanitarian crisis per se with the tragic events and numerous deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, but also because of its framing as a security issue. Migration has been hyper-politicised and even used in political campaigns with anti-immigration connotations. The developing and increasing immigrants’ influx to Greece, part of the increased migration movement towards the Western world and especially Europe, has created a new map for exploration, analysis and debate in academia and in political circles and formation of laws. Changes regarding Greek governments’ choices, political and media discourse, and EU’s agenda on migration policies show an amplified politicisation of migration. The purpose of the particular paper is to discuss the social construction of migration as a security threat (a process referred to as ‘securitisation’) in Greece between 2000-2014,either through discourse or practices. The analysis will be placed in the wider EU framework for a better understanding of the securitising processes.