1st Edition

The Securitization of Humanitarian Migration Digging moats and sinking boats

By Scott D. Watson Copyright 2009
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book examines how western liberal states are progressively restricting access to refugees and asylum seekers, even though these states have signed international agreements obliging them to offer protection to those fleeing persecution and to advocate the spread of human rights and humanitarian principles. Watson examines how refugees and asylum seekers have come to be treated so poorly by these states through the use of policies such as visa requirements, mandatory detention and prevention/return policies. Providing extensive documentary analysis of debates on ‘restrictive’ refugee policies in Canada and Australia, the author addresses the relationship between security and migration, an issue of increased importance in the aftermath of 9/11 and the war on terror. He then examines hotly-contested policies such as detention and the forceful return of asylum seekers to demonstrate how attempts to securitise these issues have been resisted in the media and by political opposition. Given the importance of providing refuge for persecuted populations, not only to ensure the survival of targeted individuals, but also to maintain international peace and security, the erosion of protective measures is of great importance today. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of international security, international relations, migration and human rights

    1. Migration and Securitization  2. Norms of the International Refugee Regime  3. Detention and Naval Interception in Canada  4. Naval Interception and Detention in Australia  5. Visa Requirements in Canada and Australia


    Scott D. Watson is Assistant Professor in International Security at the University of Victoria, Canada. He teaches classes in international security, international relations theory, ethno-nationalist violence and ethics in international affairs.

    He recently published a journal article entitled "Manufacturing Threats: Asylum Seekers as Threats or Refugees" Journal of International Law and International Relations, Volume 3, Number 1 (Spring 2006), and "Impugning the Humanitarian Defense" is under review in Ethics and International Affairs.

    He is also an occasional media commentator on issues of international security and migration policy, and has been quoted in Maclean’s, CTV National News and Global News (all Canadian national news sources).