1st Edition

The Spiralling of the Securitisation of Migration in the European Union

Edited By Valeria Bello, Sarah Léonard Copyright 2023

    This book investigates how migration has been transformed into a security threat in Europe. It argues that this process has taken place through a self-fulfilling spiralling process, which involves different actors and their specific narratives, practices and policies. The book examines how situations stemming from the so-called ‘migration crisis’ in the European Union (EU) have been dealt with by governments and non-governmental organisations. It also considers how actors treating migration as an ordinary phenomenon rather than a threat and sharing inclusive narratives can create the conditions for decelerating and eventually stopping securitisation processes. Some chapters examine the spiralling of the securitisation of migration in depth, by analysing increases in securitisation, as well as cases characterised by resistance. Others focus on examining the consequences of socially constructing migration as a crisis for the EU’s relations with third countries. In sum, this book shows that there is a wide range of motives for which states and societies would benefit from a change in migration politics and move from the current management of a ‘crisis’ to a more positive governance of human mobility. It will be of interest to researchers and advanced students of sociology, politics, international relations, social and cultural anthropology, human geography, and social work. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

    1. Introduction— The spiralling of the securitisation of migration in the EU: from the management of a ‘crisis’ to a governance of human mobility?

    Valeria Bello

    2. From Mobility Partnerships to Migration Compacts: security implications of EU- Jordan relations and the informalization of migration governance

    Peter Seeberg and Federica Zardo

    3. The ‘refugee crisis’ and its transformative impact on EU- Western Balkans relations

    Jonathan Webb

    4. People as security risks: the framing of migration in the UK security- development nexus

    Eamonn McConnon

    5. The EU and migration in the Mediterranean: EU borders’ control by proxy

    Stefania Panebianco

    6. The securitisation of migration in the European Union: Frontex and its evolving security practices

    Sarah Léonard and Christian Kaunert

    7. EU border technologies and the co- production of security ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’

    Bruno Oliveira Martins and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert

    8. Overcoming borders: the Europeanization of civil society activism in the ‘refugee crisis’

    Katharina Crepaz

    9. The role of non- state actors’ cognitions in the spiralling of the securitisation of migration: prejudice, narratives and Italian CAS reception centres

    Valeria Bello


    Valeria Bello is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Masters programme in Advanced Studies in International Affairs at the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations, University Ramón Llull, Barcelona, Spain.

    Sarah Léonard is Professor of International Security at the University of the West of England, UK.