1st Edition

Humanitarianism, Human Rights, and Security The Case of Frontex

By Nina Perkowski Copyright 2021
    180 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Examining the relationship between humanitarianism, human rights, and security in the governance of borders and migration, this book analyses the case of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), challenging the common assumption that humanitarianism and human rights provide a critical basis for countering securitisation.

    Arguing that these are not three opposing discourses and modes of governing, the author contributes to a deeper understanding of their connections and combined effects in border governance. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and document analysis, the book offers three perspectives on Frontex’s changing relationship to humanitarianism and human rights. In doing so, it provides a multifaceted account of Frontex and its gradual appropriation of what are often considered pro-migrant discourses. Combining organisational sociology with a Foucauldian analysis, the book speaks to ongoing debates on continuity and change in the security field and provides insights into studying security organisations more generally.

    Drawing on insights from Critical Migration and Border Studies, Critical Security Studies, Critical Humanitarianism and Human Rights Studies, and Organisational Sociology, the book will generate interest to multiple disciplines, including Sociology, International Relations, Politics, Anthropology, European Studies, and Geography.


    Chapter 1: Humanitarianism, Human Rights, and Security

    Chapter 2: Frontex as a Compromise

    Chapter 3: Frontex as Protector of Europe, Saviour of Lives, and Promoter of Rights

    Chapter 4: Frontex as a Fragmented Organisation

    Chapter 5: The Effects of Frontex’s Re-Positioning

    Conclusion: Reconsidering Critique


    Nina Perkowski is working as a Researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany.